An undated electron microscope image shows human sperm.
Credits: REUTERS/Theodore L. Tollner/Handout
The researchers believe the same effect could occur in humans and other species.
They said the antibiotic reduced viability up to 25%.
"This is the first research to show a transgenerational effect of antibiotics," researcher David Zeh said in a release about the study.
Tetracyclines are antibiotics often given to fight bacterial infections such as in the urinary tract and intestines, as well as severe acne and rosacea. It is also used in the treatment of chlamydia.
The research appeared Friday in Nature's open access journal, Scientific Reports.