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Tetracycline are bacteriostatic antibiotics with a broad spectrum of activity. They have been used clinically since the 1940s and as a result acquired resistance to them is widespread. In veterinary medicine tetracyclines are used most frequently for atypical bacterial diseases due to Chlamydia (particularly in cats), Borrelia, Rickettsia, Haemobartonella and Mycoplasma. Tetracyclines are the drugs of choice for Erlichia canis and Rickettsia rickettsii infections.

Adverse effects that have been reported in cats include hepatic lipidosis, increased alanine transferase (ALT) activity, ptyalism and anorexia. It has been speculated that cats may be more susceptible than other species to tetracycline-induced hepatotoxicosis, owing to their unique protein metabolism and requirements.

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