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Is It Normal for a Lab Mix on Doxycycline to Have Appetite Loss and Frequent Bowel Movements?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a 10-month-old lab mix who has been on doxycycline for the past 3 days due to a cough, which is likely kennel cough as he was recently adopted from a shelter. He has been experiencing frequent bowel movements, but they are not watery. However, tonight he is not eating his supper. Should I stop the medication until I can see the vet, or is there something I can try to get him to eat? Poor Jake.

Understanding Doxycycline and Its Effects on Your Dog’s Health

Doxycycline is a common antibiotic prescribed for various infections, including kennel cough. As with any medication, pets may experience some side effects, one of which could be changes in their bowel movements. Frequent bowel movements could be a sign of gastrointestinal distress, which might explain why Jake is not feeling up to eating his supper. It’s essential to be aware of these potential side effects and know when to seek professional help.

Diarrhea Concerns and Coping Strategies

Even though Jake’s bowel movements are not watery, frequent bowel movements still warrant attention. Diarrhea may affect dogs for numerous reasons, from dietary changes to infections. In an article, “Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?,” VetBabble explores common causes and offers possible solutions. Similarly, another helpful article, “Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry,” helps clarify when this issue is more serious and may require veterinary intervention. As you mention, Jake’s bowel movements aren’t watery, which reduces the severity of his diarrhea somewhat. However, combined with his lack of appetite, monitoring his condition is crucial.

In the meantime, there are some simple dietary changes you can try. Feeding Jake boiled white meat chicken (with no bones) and white rice may help settle his stomach and encourage him to eat. Gradually reintroduce his typical diet once his appetite returns to normal. If he still refuses to eat the chicken and rice mixture, it’s best to have him seen by a veterinarian to rule out any additional concerns.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

It’s important not to discontinue Jake’s medication without consulting a veterinarian first. The antibiotic treatment is essential to treating his cough, and prematurely ending the course of doxycycline could have negative consequences. Instead, consult with your veterinarian if you remain concerned about his frequent bowel movements and lack of appetite.

In some cases, issues like diarrhea could be associated with other infections, such as coccidia. VetBabble offers a comprehensive article on “Coccidia in Dogs and Puppies: What It Is and How to Treat It,” which outlines the symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies relevant to this condition. Your vet may also recommend alternative medications, such as metronidazole, which can be useful in treating both gastrointestinal issues and infections. You can learn more about this in the article “Metronidazole for Dogs and Cats.”

In summary, it’s essential to monitor Jake’s condition, try the boiled chicken and rice to entice him to eat, and consult with your veterinarian regarding his medication. Diarrhea and appetite loss can be concerning, but with the proper care and guidance from a veterinarian, Jake should recover smoothly.

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