Minocycline for Dogs

Minocycline for Dogs
June 20, 2019

Minocycline is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for dogs. Generally, the antibiotic is prescribed to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, in recent years, it seems to have become the antibiotic of choice for dogs. The antibiotic is effective on all forms of bacterial infection such as those affecting the skin, the respiratory system and the urinary tract. The antibiotic is also prescribed to treat much more complicated infections such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Minocycline can also be used to treat cats along with many other animals. The antibiotic is so highly favoured due to the low side effects of taking the treatment, and the capsules have been designed so that they’re easier for your pet to swallow – this also reduces the risk of your pet choking on the capsule.

There aren’t many antibiotics which can match the versatility of this treatment, and it is currently the most popular antibiotic which is part of the tetracycline family.

Tips for treating dogs with Minocycline

  • Before you give your dog any treatment, you must always seek advice from your vet.
  • Always read and make sure that you follow the instructions on the label. You’ll need to take note on how to store the medication, what possible side effects could arise, and the types of medication which will be affected by the taking of Minocycline.
  • Always ensure that the full course of the Minocycline has been finished before you stop the treatment – even if your dog appears to be better, they will still need to carry on taking them.
  • If you notice any severe side effects which you will be warned of in the leaflet contact your vet immediately.

The information provided here isn’t intended to replace the advice given by your vet. If you have any immediate concerns about your dog’s health, don’t hesitate in booking an appointment with your vet.

Why Would Minocycline be Ineffective?

 Even though Minocycline is an antibiotic which consistently proves to be more effective on a broad spectrum of bacterial diseases, there is still the potential that the antibiotic will not work for your dog.

The main reason why Minocycline would be ineffective is if your dog has been prescribed with it on a number of occasions in the past. Just as we can build up resistance to the antibiotic, your dog’s system can do the same too.

Resistance to antibiotics mainly happens when the bacteria start to mutate to survive the treatment, this means that even prescribing higher doses of the antibiotic won’t work – the bacteria will be completely immune to the treatment!

To prevent Minocycline resistance from occurring it is vital that you follow your vet’s guidance for how the treatment should be given. This means never allowing your dog to miss a dose and extend the treatment time. Always follow your vet’s instructions on the antibiotics, even if you are just a few days into the treatment and your dog seems to be feeling and looking better.

How Does Minocycline Work?

As we said earlier, Minocycline is one of the best ways to treat a bacterial infection, particularly gram-positive infections.

The antibiotic works by preventing the growth and spread of bacteria in your dog’s body. Once the spread of the bacteria has been stopped, it will eventually eradicate the infection completely, but first, the bacteria must be stopped from spreading.

It doesn’t matter which organ system is affected by the bacteria, Minocycline has the ability to eradicate even the most complex bacterial infections such as Lyme Disease. Yet, it is worth noting that with cases of Lyme Disease that the chances of recovery are largely determined by the stage the Lyme Disease has got to untreated.

Minocycline will also work wonders with urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, along with a whole manner of skin infections including tick fever.

How Minocycline is prescribed will differ between dogs and cats, generally, for dogs, it is soft tissue infections and others similar diseases, while for cats, they are most likely to be prescribed Minocycline for conditions such as Hemotropic mycoplasmosis and Nocardiosis. 

Minocycline Side Effects in Dogs

 Sadly, no antibiotic or any other medicinal drug can claim to be side-effect free. However, in comparison to many other antibiotics, there are fewer side effects reported, and even more importantly, the side effects associated with Minocycline are much less severe.

The main side effect when your dog takes Minocycline is gastrointestinal effects, so you may notice that they have an upset stomach. If your dog constantly vomits out the antibiotic, then there is a minimal chance that the antibiotic will be effective. Therefore, it is advised that before you give them their treatment, you always make sure that it is never taken on an empty stomach. You will probably need to give your dog the capsules two or three times a day, so it is highly recommended that you feed them a light meal before giving them the capsule.

Other side effects may include

  • A loss of appetite
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Trouble swallowing or a swollen tongue
  • Coughing
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Itching or rashes on the skin
  • Discolouration of the nails and skin

Most of these side effects are minor irritations, however, if you are worried about your dog’s reaction to the Minocycline, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.

You will also need to double check that the Minocycline won’t interfere with any other medication which your dog is prescribed. Make sure that you take a full list of your dog’s medication to any vets appointment as Minocycline may not be the recommended course of treatment depending on the other medication your dog needs and their other outlying health conditions.