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Tylosin for Dogs

Written By Kim Rain
Published: 06/24/2021Updated: 06/24/2021
Tylosin for Dogs

Tylosin for dogs is an antibiotic that’s been proven to be effective against many strains of bacteria. However, tylosin is more commonly used for its anti-inflammatory properties to treatdiarrhea, inflammation in the intestinal tract,colitis andinflammatory bowel disease. This natural antibiotic is made by bacteria, and may work by promoting beneficial intestinal flora while suppressing problematic bacteria. Tylosin is also prescribed to reducetear-staining, a condition which leaves rusty red to brown stains in the fur that affects many small breeds.


Tylosin is commercially available as a soluble powder, and in capsules of varying strengths, and some veterinary clinics may even offer pre-made liquid formulations. The soluble powder comes in 100 gm tubs that range from $50 to $70 each. On average, capsules at a strength of 25 mg can be sold individually at around $0.80 per capsule, or in bottles of 50 for $55.


Tylosin for dogs is given as an oral medication in powder form, in a liquid suspension made from a soluble powder, or in capsules of varying strengths. A veterinarian may also give tylosin by injection. It can be given for a short period of time, or used as a long-term medication to treat continuing conditions. On average,dosage is as follows:

  • Initial dose is 15 mg per kilogram of weight, twice daily
  • Long-term dose is between 5 mg – 15mg per kilogram of weight, once daily

Dosage instructions

Tylosin is generally given as a powder once to twice daily. This medication can be given with or without food, but since it has a very bitter taste, it can be put into capsules or cold butter to hide the bitterness. If your dog vomits after taking tylosin, try administering it with food or treats.

This medication acts quickly, and takes effect within 1 to 2 hours, although you may not notice those effects until a few days later.

Efficacy of Tylosin

For dogs, tylosin is primarily used to treat intestinal inflammation and other complaints, and is often chosen over other medications due to its safety for long-term use in cases where continued treatment is needed.One study found that doses of tylosin ranging from 5 mg to 15 mg were effective in treating diarrhea and diarrhea relapse.  

As an antibiotic, tylosin has been shown to be effective against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, although it is not effective against tylosin-resistant E. Coli and Salmonella. It has also been used effectively against theparasite Cryptosporidium that can cause intestinal infection.

 Research aimed to study the response to tylosin therapy in cases ofpyoderma caused by the staphylococcus bacteria showed a 90% efficacy in successfully treating this condition.

Side effects of Tylosin

The side effects of tylosin for dogs are generally mild and are not serious, although in some cases, severe symptoms can occur which require medical attention. Symptoms such as soreness at site of injection, mild diarrhea, stomach upset, and loss of appetite are considered serious if they worsen, become severe or continue.

Side effects of tylosin can include:

  • Pain or inflammation at site of injection
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loose stools
  • Bloody or severe diarrhea
  • Protrusion on anus

Once discontinued, tylosin stops working within 24 hours, but effects can linger in dogs affected bykidney or liver disease. The bitter taste is often intolerable to dogs taking oral formulations of tylosin, and may need to be masked. This medication can falsely elevate some liver blood tests.


Chat with your veterinarian if your dog is pregnant or nursing, and use tylosin with caution.

Tylosin use to reduce tear-staining in dogs is controversial due to the fact that overuse of antibiotics is responsible for antibiotic resistance of bacteria. If bacteria becomes resistant to tylosin, then they are also resistant to related antibiotics, such as erythromycin. Since tear-staining is a cosmetic issue, it is recommended that pet owners seek a non-antibiotic treatment rather than risk increasing bacteria resistance to life-saving antibiotics.

Drug interactions

Currently, there aren’t many known interactions between tylosin and other medications. However, tylosin can raise digoxin levels in the blood, so caution should be used when combining this medication withdigoxin.

Tylosin is related to the antibiotic erythromycin, which has several known drug interactions. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about these drug interactions that could be possible while taking tylosin. Drugs that interact with erythromycin include azole antifungals, cisapride, other antibiotics including chloramphenicol, clindamycin, and lincomycin, the immunosuppressant cyclosporine, warfarin, some chemotherapy drugs, and several others.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Tylosin should not be used in dogs who are allergic to it. This medication should also be avoided in dogs allergic to related antibiotics, such as erythromycin and azithromycin.

An allergic reaction to any drug is possible, so be sure to monitor your dog when first taking tylosin. Symptoms of anallergic reaction to medication can include diarrhea, scratching, licking and biting, rashes and hives, breathing problems, weakness and evenanaphylactic shock. Be sure to seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice any signs of a reaction in your dog.

Frequently asked questions

What do I do if I missed giving my dog a dose?

If you skip a dose of tylosin, be sure to give it when you remember. If it is close to the time of the next dose, then skip the missed one and give the next dose on time. Never give your dog a double dose of this medication.

How should I store Tylosin?

Tylosin, whether in powder, liquid or capsule form, should be stored in airtight containers away from light at room temperature. Lids on tylosin powder containers should be tightly closed to prevent moisture from getting in. Liquid formulations should be thrown out 3 days after the date it was mixed.

What should I do in case of emergency?

Tylosin for dogs is generally safe, but an allergic reaction or overdose is possible with any drug. Signs of an accidental drugoverdose can include vomiting and drooling, disorientation, agitation, weakness, lack of coordination, and changes to breathing and heart rates. If you suspect an allergic reaction or overdose is occurring in your dog, seek immediate veterinary attention.

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