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Aust Vet J. 2006 Jan-Feb;84(1-2):8-11.

Susceptibility of bacteria from feline and canine urinary tract infections to doxycycline and tetracycline concentrations attained in urine four hours after oral dosage.

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  • 1Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, New South Wales, 2006.



To measure urinary concentrations of doxycycline in cats and dogs and tetracycline in dogs 4 h after conventional oral dosing and determine whether these antibiotics were present in sufficient concentrations to be effective against common feline and canine urinary tract pathogens as assessed in vitro by Epsilometer and disc diffusion antimicrobial susceptibility methods.


A prospective study involving oral administration to clinically normal cats and dogs of doxycycline or tetracycline (dogs only) and culture of bacteria from dogs and cats with urinary tract infections to determine their susceptibility to both doxycycline and tetracycline in vitro.


In the first study, nine cats and eight dogs were administered doxycycline monohydrate (5 mg/kg every 12 h) and a further eight dogs were administered tetracycline hydrochloride (20 mg/kg every 8 h) for 72 h. Blood was collected at 2 and 4 h, and urine at 4 h, after the last dose. The concentration of each agent in serum and urine was determined by modified agar diffusion. In the second study, 45 urine samples from cats and dogs with urinary tract infections were cultured. Every bacterial isolate was tested in vitro using both Epsilometer (doxycycline and tetracycline) and disc diffusion (doxycycline, tetracycline or amoxycillin-clavulanate) tests.


Serum doxycycline concentrations in sera of cats and dogs at 2 h were 4.2 +/- 1.0 mg/mL and 3.4 +/- 1.1 mg/mL, respectively. The corresponding concentrations at 4 h were 3.5 +/- 0.7 mg/mL and 2.8 +/- 0.6 mg/mL. Urinary doxycycline concentrations at 4 h (53.8 +/- 24.4 mg/mL for cats and 52.4 +/- 24.1 mg/mL for dogs) were substantially higher than corresponding serum values. Serum tetracycline concentrations in dogs at 2 and 4 h, and in urine at 4 h, were 6.8 +/- 2.8, 5.4 +/- 0.8, 144.8 +/- 39.4 mg/mL, respectively. Most of the urinary tract pathogens (35/45) were susceptible to urinary concentrations of doxycycline and 38/45 were susceptible to tetracycline. In contrast 41/45 of all isolates were susceptible to amoxycillin-clavulanate.


This is the first report of urinary concentrations of doxycycline after conventional oral administration. Concentrations attained in the urine of normal cats and dogs were sufficient to inhibit the growth of a significant number of urinary tract pathogens and thus doxycycline may be a useful antimicrobial agent for some urinary tract infections.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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