Has Your Dog Reacted Negatively From Doxycycline?

Sorry for the length of the following...

My Boxer had a senior bloodwork panel on April 2nd. Once the results all came back the Dr. stated she had been exposed to Lyme's at some point. Everything else was perfect for her age. He stated it could be an old trace too. While asymptomatic, the doctor seemed to really push for an antibiotic treatment "just in case". I normally would have refused as she was fine but I figured he really thought it best. She began taking Doxycycline 200mg twice a day April 9th. 5 days into the treatment she began exhibiting a severe head tilt but nothing else. I gave it a few days and after no change I called the doctor to discuss. I was instructed to not discontinue the Doxy even though I had researched and now understood how strong that antibiotic is. I continued as directed against my gut feeling. I stopped giving her the Doxy two days prior to the end as she was deteriorating more. She is now 11 days off of the Doxy with no improvement in fact she is getting worse. She is losing her balance all the time, falling down, cannot turn to the left and has a very difficult time eating and drinking. Forget about stairs. The mechanics of her tongue and mouth don't seem to work well any longer. Once walking she can walk in a straight line sort of but only on leash. She behaves like a stroke victim. The doctor and Google search indicate Vestibular Disease. He stated it is common in older dogs and should diminish. I do not accept that answer. My issue is she was perfectly active, very spry and fine. After taking this medication she is in a terrible state with a decimated quality of life. I feel responsible for her current condition. It is utterly heartbreaking as she is the sweetest dog.

I should add this is not the vet that has seen her for the past 9 years. Two years ago we had an urgent issue where our vet could not see her for a week or so. We got her into this vet the same day. It turned out after her senior panel at that time, she was found to be just on the border for having Hypothyroidism. She, like me take meds for it daily. Fast forward to this April, I could not renew the prescription online without seeing the vet again hence the visit on April 2nd. I am going to take her to her regular vet now that I'm back from a 6 day trip but I do not foresee a favorable outcome.

Has anyone have any experience with this medication?

We have. All I can report is that it is notorious for giving them upset stomach, and making them not want to eat because of it. Its very sad watching a dog who feels bad (from taking doxycycline).

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
May 19th

Greg, typically the side effects of doxy are GI upset/vomiting and diarrhea. It is possible for your dog to have developed vestibular disease separately, given that she is a senior (you didn’t mention her age). It’s completely normal to want to say the doxy caused that, but vestibular disease is common in older dogs. On the other hand, anything is possible.
I would consult with your original vet, or one that you trust. There could be something else going on (ear infection, brain lesion, etc) affecting her vestibular structures.
Please keep us posted.

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
May 19th

I used samento when my small dog had lyme. She went from hardly being able to walk to just fine. It was hard to get her to take regular medication anyway.

I knew Doxy typically causes GI issues. We tried meclizine but it did not help. Her appetite is good it's just the mechanics of the eating process is so difficult making her give up trying I think. I'll hand feed her dog food rolled into balls for now. She has lost 7 pounds in four weeks.

I just returned from the vet again. He stated the same that Doxy often just causes GI issues not what she is experiencing or any ototoxicity as I was thinking. I had been reading it seems to be some sort of idiopathic vestibular disease. While she is presenting in part that way he feels it may very well be a brain related issue and just a coincidence that it's manifesting now. His thought is it may be a lesion as some of her symptoms indicate that. Of course a neurological consult with various tests could confirm that diagnoses but with a 9 year old Boxer treatment would just be palliative.

I wish I took a moment to think a bit when he told us that she tested having the antibodies for Lyme. That just means she was exposed. She didn't actually have Lyme's. In fact less than 10% of dogs that are exposed and have antibodies ever exhibit symptoms or contract Lyme's. I guess I'm just trying to pin her issue on something other than what may be the case. For now it's a wait and see approach.

Trying to figure out cause can be impossible many times. We just lost one of ours in December, he had thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia. They could find no cause (through tests), so they went on the assumption it was auto-immune. Long story short (and 5 months later, after several drugs and the poor boy was wasting away), we had to let him go. In the end, I suspect cancer. But the vet was afraid to do a biopsy because he could bleed out with his conditions. But SOMETHING was causing those conditions... in the end, it didn't matter. He was 2 months shy of his 8th birthday. That's the 2nd one we've lost right before their 8th birthday.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
May 19th

Greg my senior dog went through vestibular neuritis and the symptoms you describe are exactly what she went through, it will pass. My girl had it so bad I called an emergency vet to have her put down because I thought she stroked out as well. when they asked me if I would like her examined first I said yes and that’s what she was diagnosed with

Had Enough Had Enough
May 19th

Go to The American Animal Hospital on Sussex Turnpike in Randolph, ASAP. Ask for Vet Dr. Stockmal.....she's there long and very great and smart

(973) 895-4999.

your pet probably needs to go on Forti Flora for Dogs for the upset stomach., and some other natural, heading things from the doxycycine.

(when i was on doxycycline, i got stomach upset, felt like s--t, and had diahrea. my doctor gave me a time-released PROBIOTIC).

i know someone who had a dog with the flea collar, the dog got paralyzed and the vet's office detoxed the dog's liver and the American Animal Hospital (THE BEST AROUND!!!) did something else with a supplement (natural) or two, and the dog lived for many more years and wasn't walking off or paralyzed.

Hackresident Hackresident
May 19th

oh yeah... I forgot... *I* was on doxy for 2 months, for Lyme disease. Felt like crap for 2+ months. I mean, it felt great not having the lyme symptoms any more (I literally felt like "a new man"), but my stomach was a WRECK for 2+ months. Even when I came off it, it took at least 2-3 weeks for my stomach to normalize again.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
May 19th

My older dog had vestibular disease as well. Took about a month for him to feel better. 2 months later had another episode. Head to this day is still tilted. But fine otherwise. They get motion sickness from it. So maybe the combined antibiotics and vestibular disease making your dog feel terrible. Hope your doggie will feel better fast.

Hackmom Hackmom
May 19th

2nd American Animal Hospital and Forta- Flora.
Kelp and Forta-Flora a must for stomach issues.
Yogurt if dog will accept.

AJMS, the concern is the vestibular symptoms. Forta Flora can’t hurt but probably won’t help.

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
May 20th

I understand the vet wanting to treat for Lyme disease despite everything. It causes kidney failure in dogs so fast that it's usually fatal. Lost my dog to Lyme when she was 8. She couldn't do the regular Lyme treatment because she had to take something else for seisures (I think that's what it was) and the two medications had a negative interaction together. We had to special order one that treated both of her issues- which unfortunately took too long- but there should be alternatives. Even people have alternatives if the doxycycline is too hard on the stomach. It's just what most physicians commonly prescribe. My dog didn't have some of the issues you're describing though. She started out lethargic, loss of appetite, barely drinking, weight loss, didn't want to go out and blood in urine. My mom's dog had it. One day we thought she was dead because she wouldn't get up and was breathing too shallow to see. Besides her eye movements, she was like temporarily paralyzed. She got better after treatment lived on to 16 after getting cancer. I hope everything works out with your pup

Animallove Animallove
May 21st

Re: Has Your Dog Reacted Negatively From Doxycycline?

Now that we are apart, what do I tell my heart?

I'm devastated.....


Sorry for your loss. When my dog passes I will be devastated as well.

If you want to grab a few beers and BS to get your mind off it- just let me know.

Greg, I am so sorry.

so sorry, Greg. RIP to your pup.

Such a hard thing to go through. I'm sorry you lost your precious pal.

Very sorry, Greg. We lost our Daisy back in December. It's never easy.

Calico696 Calico696
3 weeks ago

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