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Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch

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  • Unlimited video visits and follow-ups

When your dog suffers from a bacterial infection, they need fast and effective treatment to alleviate their discomfort and restore their health. Your veterinarian will diagnose your dog's condition and create a treatment plan tailored to your dog. Medications like minocycline may be prescribed as part of this treatment regimen to combat bacterial invaders and speed up your dog's recovery. 

Minocycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to address many bacterial infections in dogs. From skin infections to respiratory ailments, this medication's effectiveness can help fight bacterial pathogens. 

Keep reading to learn more about minocycline for dogs, its uses, side effects, and safety considerations to help you make the right decision for your pet. 

What is Minocycline?

Minocycline is an antibiotic medication commonly prescribed to dogs to treat bacterial infections.1 It belongs to the tetracycline class of drugs and works by stopping the growth of bacteria in the body.2 This medication is effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, making it a versatile option for many different bacterial infections in dogs. 

Minocycline for dogs works by inhibiting the growth and spread of bacteria in their bodies. As an antibiotic belonging to the tetracycline class of drugs, minocycline interferes with the ability of bacteria to produce essential proteins needed for their survival.1 

By disrupting bacterial protein synthesis, minocycline allows the dog's immune system to eliminate the infection more effectively.1 This mechanism of action makes minocycline an effective treatment for a range of bacterial infections in dogs, including those affecting the skin, respiratory system, and more. 

Minocycline for Dogs: Uses

Minocycline for dogs is a versatile antibiotic. Minocycline uses for dogs include treating bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and other areas. It's often prescribed by veterinarians to address conditions like: 1,3

  • Brucellosis: Brucellosis is a bacterial infection caused by Brucella species.4 When combined with aminoglycosides, minocycline may be used to treat this infection. 
  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can be effectively treated with minocycline by targeting the bacteria responsible for the infection. 
  • Ehrlichia: Ehrlichia is a group of bacterial pathogens transmitted by tricks that infect white blood cells.5 Minocycline is effective against these infections, eliminating bacteria from the bloodstream and alleviating symptoms. 
  • Anaplasma: Anaplasma is another infection caused by ticks.6 Minocycline is commonly used to treat these infections, clearing bacteria from the bloodstream. 
  • Rickettsia: Rickettsia is a bacteria that can cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever.7 Minocycline is effective against this bacteria, eradicating it from the body and alleviating any symptoms associated with the disease. 
  • Heartworm disease: Minocycline can be used as an alternative to doxycycline in the treatment protocol for heartworm disease, helping to eliminate bacteria associated with the infection. 
  • Infections caused by Mycoplasma, spirochete bacteria, and Chlamydia: Minocycline is effective against various bacterial pathogens, including Mycoplasma, spirochetes, such as those causing leptospirosis, and Chlamydia. 
  • Certain nosocomial infections: Nosocomial infections are acquired in healthcare settings and can be caused by various bacteria. In cases where other antibiotics fail to treat these infections effectively, minocycline may be used as an alternative treatment option. 

While minocycline is effective against a range of bacterial infections, it's not recommended for treating urinary tract infections (UTIs) or prostate infections in pets because it doesn't reach those areas well enough to work effectively against bacteria there. Minocycline for dog ear infections also isn't recommended, especially without a diagnosis confirming whether or not the infection is bacterial. Your vet will likely prescribe different medications for those kinds of infections.3  

dog under the sheets

Dosage & Administration

The minocycline dosage for dogs can vary based on factors like weight, the specific health condition being treated, and other individual considerations. The typical dosage for susceptible soft tissue infections is between 5 - 12 mg/kg of the dog's weight, given orally or intravenously every 12 hours. On the other hand, for conditions like Brucellosis, a combination of minocycline and other medications may be used, with minocycline typically given at a dosage of 25 mg/kg once daily.1 

The duration your dog takes minocycline medication can also vary depending on the specific health condition being treated. For instance, the treatment typically lasts 7 to 14 days for soft tissues.1 For more serious conditions, the treatment may extend over several weeks, with minocycline administered once daily for a longer duration. 

The duration of treatment is determined by factors like the severity of the infection, your dog's response to the medication, and the veterinarian's assessment of the overall progress. It's crucial to follow your vet's instructions carefully to ensure the infection is fully eliminated and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance. 

Side Effects

Minocycline is generally well tolerated by dogs, with most experiencing few or mild side effects. However, like any medication, it can cause adverse reactions in some cases. The most commonly reported minocycline for dogs' side effects are nausea and vomiting, which can cause dehydration and lethargy. Fortunately, these effects can often be managed at home by administering the drug with food.1

Other potential minocycline for dogs' side effects include: 

  • Dental or bone staining when minocycline exposure occurs early in life
  • Skin irritation and hives
  • Shivering
  • Hypotension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Shock1

Like other tetracycline antibiotics, prolonged minocycline therapy may also result in the overgrowth of non-susceptible bacteria or fungi. Side effects such as photosensitivity, dizziness, lightheadedness, liver toxicity, and blood disorders have been observed in humans. Additionally, while relatively uncommon in animals, a blue skin pigmentation may occur.1 

Pet parents should closely monitor their dogs for any signs of adverse reactions while taking minocycline. If you notice any concerning side effects, such as persistent vomiting, unusual behavior, or signs of an allergic reaction, consult your vet immediately. They can provide guidance on managing the side effects or adjust the treatment plan if necessary to ensure your dog's safety and well-being.

dog at a desk with laptop and notepad


Is minocycline safe for dogs? Minocycline is considered safe for dogs, but it should only be used under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. It's important to consult your vet to determine if those medications suit your dog. 

Minocycline should not be used in dogs hypersensitive to tetracyclines, pregnant or nursing, or younger than six months.1 Unlike other tetracyclines, minocycline can typically be used in dogs with moderate kidney problems without adjusting the dosage. However, if a dog has severe kidney failure, the dosage may need to be adjusted.1

Tetracyclines like minocycline can also affect fetal skeletal development and tooth coloration in puppies if given to pregnant dogs.1 Minocycline has also been shown to affect male fertility in rats, so your vet might choose another treatment option if you plan on breeding your dog in the near future.1 

Like other medications, there's a potential for overdose with minocycline. If your dog ingests too much minocycline, they may experience gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.1 If you believe your dog is experiencing an overdose, contact your vet immediately for the next steps. 

Minocycline may also interact with other medications, including antacids, iron supplements, penicillins, and warfarin.1 When discussing potential interactions with your veterinarian, it's crucial to provide a comprehensive list of all medications your dog is currently taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, and even topical treatments. This information allows your vet to assess the risk of interactions between minocycline for dogs and other substances your pet may be exposed to. 

For instance, certain medications like antacids or iron supplements can interfere with the absorption of minocycline when taken together, potentially reducing its effectiveness. On the other hand, drugs like isotretinoin may increase the risk of nervous system side effects when combined with minocycline.1

Additionally, informing your vet about your dog's current medication regimen helps them adjust the dosage or timing of minocycline administration if necessary to minimize the risk of interactions. This approach ensures that your dog gets the full benefits of minocycline while avoiding any potential complications from drug interactions. 

Final Notes

Minocycline can combat a wide range of bacterial infections. While generally well-tolerated, it's essential to be aware of its potential side effects and safety considerations.

Accessing veterinary care is now easier than ever with Dutch telemedicine for pets. By becoming a member, you gain access to convenient vet care that allows you to address your pet's health concerns from the comfort of your home. We also offer an online pet pharmacy where you can conveniently order prescriptions and deliver them directly to your door. With Dutch, you can ensure your pet receives timely and effective treatment without the stress of in-person vet visits.



  1. Veterinary Drug Handbook - Visit Cdnsw.Com,

  2. Mercer, Melissa A. "Tetracyclines Use in Animals - Pharmacology." Merck Veterinary Manual, 12 Feb. 2024,

  3. Price, Molly. "Minocycline for Dogs and Cats." PetMD, 21 Nov. 2023,

  4. Canine Brucellosis: Facts for Dog Owners, Brucellosis Fact Sheet- general public- NJDOH.pdf

  5. McQuiston, Jennifer H. "Ehrlichiosis and Related Infections in Dogs - Dog Owners." Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 12 Feb. 2024,

  6. "Anaplasmosis." Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 19 Jan. 2024,

  7. Foley, Janet E. "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs - Generalized Conditions." Merck Veterinary Manual, 12 Feb. 2024,

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.