What Is Tylan powder for dogs?

Written by maura wolf
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What Is Tylan powder for dogs?
Tylan powder is the antibiotic of choice for some conditions affecting dogs. (sleepy puppy eyes image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)

Tylan powder is the brand name of Tylosin, an antibiotic in the same class as erythromycins. Tylosin is licensed for use in livestock as a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat infection. It is used for respiratory infections and sinus disease caused by mycoplasma in chickens and turkeys and to treat and control dysentery in pigs. For dogs, cats and small pets, Tylan soluble powder is used not only as an antibiotic, but also for its anti-inflammatory properties. Tylan powder successfully treats dogs with chronic diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal problems.

Tylan powder

Veterinarians prescribe Tylan powder it as an extra-label drug, so you can purchase it from your vet or at a chemists. There are also lots of online suppliers in the UK. Although you can buy Tylan powder through farm and veterinary supply websites, you should only be given if your vet has prescribed it for your dog. Because of its bitter taste, the powder may need to be put into capsules.

What Is Tylan powder for dogs?
Putting Tylan powder into capsules will hide its bitter taste. (capsules in close up image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

Tear staining

Tylosin is an ingredient in products that reduce tear staining in white-coloured, small breed dogs with shallow tear wells. Dogs may develop epiphora, in which tears overflow and tear-pigmentation causes red-brown staining of fur, a condition considered unsightly. The Pet Pharmacy's Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, says, "through an unknown mechanism, tylosin seems to alleviate this condition." Dr. Brooks, explains the controversies regarding this use of tylosin. When it comes to these beef- and chicken-flavoured chewable products, "the exact amount of tylosin is not specified on the label which means one's pet would be using an unknown amount of the drug daily," and the second controversy is "whether or not it is even appropriate to use an antibiotic daily for a cosmetic problem." In general, because they may create immunity to other antibiotics, antibiotics are not recommended for daily use. If Tylan or tylosin is used too frequently, dogs may develop resistance to the erythromycin class of antibiotics.

What Is Tylan powder for dogs?
Maltese and other small white dog breeds may suffer from tear staining. (bichon maltese puppy image by Lombok from Fotolia.com)

Gastrointestinal illness

Tylan powder is used as an antibiotic for treating dogs with chronic diarrhoea, sometimes caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and sometimes by other infections. Tylan also has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a soothing agent for the large intestine of dogs suffering from colitis.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Dogs with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) have a "proliferation of abnormal numbers of bacteria in the lumen of the upper small intestine," according to veterinarian Roger Batt. Low cobalamin combined with increased folate is diagnostic of SIBO, and, while some veterinarians prescribe metronidazole, the recommended treatment is a therapeutic trial with an antimicrobial agent such as tylosin. If a dog does not respond positively to Tylan powder for SIBO within one week of taking the medication, further diagnostic testing may be necessary.


The usual dose of Tylan Powder for dogs is 5 to 10 mg (0.077 to 0.15 grains) per 454 g (lb) that the dog weighs twice a day for one month to six weeks. The length of time your dog needs Tylan powder depends on what condition you are treating and on your dog's response to the drug. Always finish the entire prescription of Tylan powder as specified by your vet, even if your pet feels better, because the chance of relapse is high if you stop medicating prematurely.

Side Effects

Dogs seem to be able to tolerate high doses of tylosin with no negative side effects. The biggest problem with small animal use is that tylosin is very bitter; most dogs won't take it unless you disguise the taste or have it compounded into capsules. Tylan is eliminated through the urine, and is unlikely to cause liver disease or worsen pre-existing conditions, but tylosin may give falsely elevated readings on certain liver blood tests. Tylan should not be given concurrently with heart medications such as digoxin or digitalis, or with the antibiotics, choramphenicol or lincosamides. Avoid giving Tylan to dogs who have had adverse reactions to macrolide antibiotics like erythromycin.

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