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Chronic doxycycline use.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pug
Age: 2-5 years
How many weeks can I safely keep my pug on 100 mg daily of doxycycline capsules?

It was prescribed to get rid of a couple of large deep cystic like pimples that were not responding at all to any topical treatments. Benzoyl peroxide, clindamyacin, stridex, and others, all failed. His acne is around his muzzle, in between the fold area that covers part of the nose.

He has been on the medicine for almost 2 weeks with dramatic results. Probably an 85% improvement.

There have been ZERO side effects that I've noticed. Can he stay on it for a full two or three weeks?

I realize you can't give specific advice relating to medicine but please speak generally as to what you might recommend if presented with a similar case involving a pug. Thank you.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm glad to hear that Chocko's lesions are improving.

It is indeed safe for a dog to stay on doxycycline for more than a couple of weeks. Some vets will use it much much longer than that to treat chronic conditions.

Some dogs can get some mild stomach upset with doxycycline. But, most likely if this was going to happen you would have noticed it by now.

If your vet is recommending long term use of doxycycline then this should be just fine. The length of time that Chocko is on doxycycline should be determined by your vet, but in general it should be until the problem is cleared up and then a week or two longer.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you, that is reassuring to hear.

If there are no apparent side effects, is it problematic to put the dog back on 2-4 week cycles if new outbreaks appear? Or could that be a scenario in which a Vet will opt for an even longer stay on the medicine.

As a lay person my concern would be that with each recurrent usage the acne might become more resistant to the antibiotic, requiring ever longer treatment, and so forth. Maybe this type of "tolerance" doesn't apply, I'm not sure. I just know that I would be hesitant to do anything that over time, lessens the efficacy of the one treatment that actually works.

Thank you again for your time and excellent advice.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Again, the decision on how long to use this drug really needs to be made by your vet as there are many variables involved but in most cases, if you treat long enough the first time it shouldn't come back. If it does I suppose it is possible to do repeated courses of doxycycline but it's not something that we regularly do.

If it keeps coming back I would be looking for underlying issues such as an allergy or yeast or parasites. Most likely it will just clear up and never come back though. :)



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.