World-renowned veterinarian, Dr. Stanley
Marks, has very generously answered my
questions on the dangers of using low-dose tylosin (tylan) and tetracycline
to control tear stains. If you're using an antibiotic, or an
antibiotic product like Angel Eyes or Angel's Glow, I urge you to
Note that I added the highlighting in his response for emphasis of important points.
Response from Dr. Marks: The notion of using tylosin to eradicate tear stains is a bizarre and concerning application of this antibiotic. Your concerns regarding the long-term repercussions are spot-on -- emerging antibiotic resistance (especially when using suboptimal doses of the drug) and potentially dysbiosis.
We use tylosin for antibiotic-responsive diarrhea (ARD) in dogs, for the management of colitis, and for the management of Clostridium perfringens-associated diarrhea. In each of these maladies, we use the recommended dose of drug for the shortest possible time. This can be a challenge with ARD, as many dogs need prolonged administration of the drug for this specific condition.
We have looked at antibiotic resistance against tylosin in dogs with C. perfringens-associated diarrhea, and the good news is that the incidence is extremely low at the moment. This however is likely to change with suboptimal dosing of drug given for months to years.
The use of tetracycline for the clearing of tear stains is even more concerning, as this specific antibiotic has been associated with a very high incidence of antibiotic resistance in people, and we were able to show that 21% of canine C. perfringens isolates were resistant to this antibiotic. Of greater concern, tetracyclines have been associated with the conjugative transfer of resistant plasmids from one bacterium to another unrelated bacterium! *
* Important: If bacteria A learns how to resist, say, tetracycline, it can pass this information to other bacteria who may also learn to resist it. This can render the tetracycline ineffective in multiple situations. Wikipedia says: "If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug."
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