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White powder medication for dogs
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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antibiotic
  • Form: Powder, May be compounded into liquid or capsule forms
  • Prescription required? Yes
  • FDA approved? Yes, but use in dogs is considered off-label
  • Brand names: Tylan
  • Common names: Tylosin, Tylosin tartrate
  • Available dosages: 2.6 gram/5mL in 100-gram bottle
  • Expiration range: Varies, refer to package label for powder form

Tylosin (brand name: Tylan) powder is primarily used in veterinary medicine to treat gastrointestinal problems in dogs, cats, and other animals. 

Let’s take a closer look at tylosin powder for dogs and how it may benefit dogs with diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.

What is Tylosin?

Tylosin is a type of antibiotic prescribed to treat diarrhea in dogs. It is made from culturing the bacteria Streptomyces fradiae. It is available in a generic form for dogs, which is called tylosin tartrate. The brand name, Tylan, is manufactured by several companies. 

Tylosin is FDA-approved for large animals, but its use in dogs is considered “extra-label,” of “off-label,” which means it is prescribed under different instructions than what the package label states. This is a very common practice in veterinary medicine. 

Tylan powder is currently offered to pet parents by prescription only through their primary care veterinarians throughout the United States.

Previously, products containing tylosin were available to treat tear-staining in white-coated dogs as well. However, the FDA does not allow the sale of these products solely for cosmetic purposes any longer [1]. 

What Does Tylan Powder Look Like?

Tylan powder is described as a “colorless, crystalline substance,” and it ranges in color from white to light yellow. It is available in a soluble powder form for dogs, and it is characterized by a musty smell.

What is Tylan Powder Used For in Dogs?

French Bulldog at veterinarian

Tylan powder is most commonly prescribed when dogs have diarrhea – either due to a bacterial infection or inflammatory bowel disease. 

Oftentimes dogs prescribed Tylan powder have used other medications without success, or the Tylan powder is being prescribed as an alternative to metronidazole, another antibiotic used to treat gastrointestinal issues. 

Tylan powder is primarily prescribed in dogs for the following conditions:

  • Enteritis 
  • Colitis 
  • Chronic diarrhea

How Does Tylan Powder Work?

Tylan powder fights bacterial infections and inflammation in a dog’s intestines that may be contributing to episodes of diarrhea. 

This antibiotic binds to an important site on the ribosome of the bacteria, which inhibits protein synthesis. Without protein synthesis, the bacteria cannot survive or continue to wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive tract. 

By eliminating bad bacteria and reducing inflammation, Tylan powder helps a dog’s stool return to a normal consistency.  

How to Give Tylosin to Dogs

Pet owner putting powder medication on dog food

It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions when administering this medication to your dog. 

To prevent an upset stomach, Tylan powder is commonly given with a meal. You can sprinkle it over dry food or mix it into wet food. However, this antibiotic has an extremely bitter taste, and it may be difficult to entice some dogs to ingest it, even with food. 

To remedy this, the medication can be compounded into a capsule or liquid form by a veterinary pharmacist. Capsules can then be placed into a pill pocket or hidden in a “meatball” of canned food. Compounded liquids can be given orally using a syringe that is provided by your veterinarian or the pharmacy. 

Tylan Powder for Dogs: Side Effects

While Tylan powder is generally well-accepted and tolerated by most dogs, there is still the potential for side effects. Contact your veterinarian for guidance if you notice any concerns while your pet is taking this medication, especially any longstanding or severe symptoms. 

Side effects that can be seen when giving dogs Tylan powder may include:  

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inappetence
  • Loose or soft stool

There is evidence to suggest tylosin alters the gut microbiome significantly when administered orally [2]. Because of this, it may be beneficial for veterinarians to prescribe probiotics following a course of tylosin to restore healthy bacteria in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. 

Interactions With Other Medications

Tylosin has the potential to interact with various other medications. It is important that you discuss any medications (over-the-counter or prescription) that your dog is taking with your veterinarian prior to starting this antibiotic. 

Tylosin should not be used with lincosamides or chloramphenicol because it reduces their overall efficacies. 

It should not be used in animals who have allergies to any of the macrolide antibiotics either. 

Because tylosin can negatively interact with digoxin, it should be used cautiously in pets being treated with this drug for heart disease. 

Tylan Powder Dosage for Dogs

White powder at compounding veterinary pharmacy

Tylan powder is typically administered 1-3 times daily, and dosing varies based on your dog’s weight. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions for when and how to give this medication.

Cost of Tylan Powder for Dogs

Tylan powder is a relatively inexpensive medication. It is typically prescribed by a veterinarian as the generic form, tylosin tartrate, which may cost anywhere from $15-$50 for a two-week supply. 

Costs will vary based on the duration of treatment and the size of the dog since dosages are based on weight. 

Compounded medications will cost more due to the preparation needed by the pharmacist. However, it is generally still accepted as an affordable option. 

Tylan Powder Storage Instructions

Tylan powder should be stored in a closed container at room temperature to protect it from moisture and sunlight. Compounded medications should be stored according to the instructions on their labels for best results.

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