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Suspected side effects of doxycycline use in dogs – a retrospective study of 386 cases
  1. B. S. Schulz, DrMedVet, DiplECVIM-CA1,
  2. S. Hupfauer, DrMedVet1,
  3. H. Ammer, DrMedVet, DrMedVetHabil2,
  4. C. Sauter-Louis, DrMedVet, PhD3 and
  5. K. Hartmann, DrMedVet, DrMedVetHabil, DiplECVIM-CA1
  1. Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany
  2. Institute of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Koeniginstrasse 16, 80539 Munich, Germany
  3. Clinic for Ruminants, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Sonnenstrasse 16, 85764 Oberschleissheim, Germany
  1. E-mail for correspondence b.schulz{at}

This study investigated doxycycline-related side effects in a large population of dogs. Data from 386 dogs that had received doxycycline for the treatment of various infectious diseases were analysed retrospectively. Potential side effects that developed during treatment were documented, and correlations with signalment, dose, duration of treatment, frequency of application, doxycycline preparation and use of additional drugs were investigated. Vomiting was reported in 18.3 per cent of dogs, 7.0 per cent developed diarrhoea and 2.5 per cent developed anorexia. While being treated with doxycycline, 39.4 per cent of dogs showed an increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and 36.4 per cent showed an increase in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. There was a dose-related risk of an increase in ALP activity (P=0.011, odds ratio [OR]=1.27, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.06 to 1.53), and older dogs treated with doxycycline were more likely to develop an increase in ALT activity (P=0.038, OR=1.23, 95 per cent CI 1.01 to 1.50) and vomiting (P=0.017, OR=1.11, 95 per cent CI 1.02 to 1.21).

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