Doxycycline is used in cats to treat susceptible bacterial infections such as upper respiratory infections, heartworm disease, and Lyme disease. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic ideal for cats with a variety of illnesses. It is good to know the potential side effects of doxycycline and how long your cat will use it before administering to treat any bacterial infection.
What is Doxycycline?
Doxycycline is a synthetic antibiotic in class tetracycline. It is used to treat a number of bacterial infections in both cats and other pets like dogs, and horses. Doxycycline antibiotics are bacteriostatic; they prevent bacteria from reproducing but do not kill the bacteria outright.
This medicine treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections. Doxycycline is marketed under the brand names Adoxa, Vibramycin, Vibravet, Virbra-Tabs, Doxirobe, Doxy, Monodox, Oracea, Oraxyl.
in the United States, Doxycycline is marked as “off-label” or “extra-label” because it is not FDA-approved for use in cats therefore it should be under the close guidance of your veterinarian.
Is Doxycycline Safe For Cats?
Doxycycline is safe and well-tolerated by both cats, but it should be given with food to avoid vomiting. You can give your cat or dog doxycycline as an alternative to amoxicillin.
Infections Doxycycline Can Treat Cats
Cat owners have several reasons to use doxycycline. It treats several bacterial infections.
Doxycycline for cats is a great treatment for treating:
- upper respiratory tract infections
- urinary tract infections
- oral infections including periodontal disease,
- tick-borne disease known as Lyme Disease.
- feline infectious anemia (Mycoplasma haemofelis)
- heartworm disease.
How Doxycycline Works
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic that fights bacteria. Doxycycline works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and their ability to reproduce. It does this by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria for growth and multiplication.
As Doxycycline prevents the bacteria from reproducing, it reduces the rate of damage caused by the bacteria and gives the body’s immune system the opportunity to kill the bacteria and ultimately cure the infection.
Doxycycline for cats comes in capsules, tablets, and liquids; it is administered orally. The effectiveness of Doxycycline antibiotics depends on how long the bacteria are exposed to a particular dose of the Doxycycline.
Doxycycline Side Effects on Cats
All tetracycline antibiotics have side effects that manifest after administration, this doesn’t mean the medicine is bad, the side effects are just normal reactions within the cat system.
Doxycycline is generally safe and effective, but there are some side effects your cat may experience when it takes Doxycycline.
Doxycycline can cause side effects in cats that include:
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- Depression and lethargy
These side effects can occur if your cat takes more than the recommended dose or if he takes it for too long a period of time without giving him breaks from treatment. In case of any unusual behavior from your cat while taking this drug you should call your veterinarian right away so they can prescribe another medication or change your cat’s dosage accordingly.
How is Doxycycline Given To Cats?
Doxycycline is an oral antibiotic given to cats in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid. Always give your cat about 10ml of water after any capsule or tablet to aid easy absorption. It is also advisable to always give Doxycycline to cats after food to avoid depression and vomiting.
Doxycycline Dosage For Cats
The dosage of Doxycycline for cats is decided by the weight of the cat. The prominent reason for this is to minimize the side effects associated with the medication. Large-breed cats take higher doses compared to small or light-breed cats. The typical dose of Doxycycline for cats is 2.5 mg per pound (5 mg/kg) every 12 hours orally. It should be given twice per day. Do not forget to follow each dose with about 5mL of water.
How Long To Give Doxycycline For Cats
Doxycycline should be given to cats twice per day for about 7 to 10 days. The length of time for doxycycline medication depends on the type of infection the cat has and what other medications used along with doxycycline.
Perhaps your cat missed a day, you can continue the following day to keep the cat on track. Missing days for Doxycycline medication help the bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotics. This can render the antibiotic less effective subsequently.
Drug Interactions With Doxycycline
Doxycycline for cats may interfere with other medications or treatments. Your cat should not be given Doxycycline antibiotics if they are currently taking iron supplements, dewormers, antacids, blood thinners or certain anti-seizure medications, or other antibiotics.
Also, Doxycycline should not be given to cats with milk or food high in calcium and iron due to interactions that can reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic.
Give your vet a full list of anything your pet is taking—even over-the-counter supplements—before you administer doxycycline for cats or dogs. The vet can either offer an alternative or change your dosage instructions to make sure the drugs don’t interfere with each other.
Where To Buy Doxycycline For Cats
You can buy doxycycline for cats without a vet prescription over the counter at pet stores, or online stores for about $25 – $45. When purchasing Doxycycline for your cat from a pet store it’s important you read all labels carefully before giving any medication to your cat.
Doxycycline Storage Information
Doxycycline tablets and capsules should be stored in a container at room temperature. Liquid forms of doxycycline may be refrigerated for 2 weeks only.
It is important to consult a veterinarian before giving your cat doxycycline. The vet can make sure that your cat does not have any allergies to the medication and can also recommend an appropriate dosage for your pet’s weight.