Cefovecina is a third-generation long-acting cephalosporin antibiotic that has been studied in a range of species with varying effects.1 Cefovecin is commonly used in zoo and wildlife medicine empirically because of its broad spectrum and potential for a long elimination half-life in non-domestic species.2-4 This study evaluated the pharmacokinetics of a single dose of cefovecin in African lions (Panthera leo) using a crossover design after subcutaneous administration of low (4 mg/kg) and high (8 mg/kg) doses. Blood samples were collected serially for 14 days post-injection and plasma drug concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. The results showed that cefovecin exhibited first-order kinetics when the dose was increased from 4 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg of body weight. The peak plasma concentration was 9.73±1.01 µg/ml and 18.35±0.936 µg/ml after 4 mg/kg and 8 mg/kg dosages, respectively, and the time to peak plasma concentration (Tmax) was 4 hours for both low and high doses. The average elimination half-life (T1/2) was approximately 111 hours and 115 hours after 4 mg/kg and 8 mg/kg dosages, respectively. Cefovecin was detected in lion plasma above the reported minimum inhibitory concentration (0.06 µg/ml) for common bacterial organisms in domestic cats for 14 days (336 hours) post-administration for both the low and high doses.5 Based on these results, cefovecin administered at 4 mg/kg subcutaneously appears to be an effective and long-lasting antibiotic in African lions.
a. Convenia, Zoetis, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007, USA
The authors would like to thank the animal care staff of the Oregon Zoo for their dedication to animal health and welfare by using operant conditioning training techniques, making this study possible.
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