Pharmacokinetics of Marbofloxacin in the Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2003
James W. Carpenter1, MS, DVM, DACZM; John H. Olsen2, DVM; Heather Henry2, CVT; David E. Koch3, MS; Ramiro Isaza1, DVM, MS, DACZM; Robert P. Hunter3, MS, PhD
1Department of Clinical Sciences and 3Zoological Pharmacology Laboratory, Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA;2Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL, USA


Because there is a lack of approved pharmaceutical agents in the United States for pet birds, there has been an increased interest in the clinical pharmacology of pet bird species in recent years to ensure proper dosing and treatment of these animals. Marbofloxacin is a synthetic antimicrobial agent of the fluoroquinolone class. This drug is safe and efficacious, and is approved for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections in dogs and cats, and urinary tract infections in dogs. There have been no pharmacokinetic studies on marbofloxacin in pet birds. Although the pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in broiler chickens and Eurasian buzzards (Buteo buteo) have been determined, there have been no pharmacokinetic studies of marbofloxacin in pet birds.

Because antimicrobial management of bacterial infections is one of the most challenging aspects of therapy encountered in avian medicine, a study was designed to determine the pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in blue and gold macaws (Ara ararauna), a species commonly kept both as a companion animal and as a display animal in zoological collections. Marbofloxacin (2.5 mg/kg) was administered orally via crop gavage to five birds and intravenously to five birds, and blood samples obtained at 0, 0.5, l, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post-marbofloxacin administration. Following a 4-wk wash-out period, the study was repeated, with the first five birds receiving the intravenous dose and the second five birds receiving the oral dose. The data derived from this study were used to calculate therapeutic dosage regimes for treating infectious disease.


This work was supported in part by a grant from the Faculty Development Awards and the University Small Research Grants, Kansas State University. The assistance in various aspects of this research by Mary Randle-Port, CVT, Arnold Stillman, Clif Martel, and Ian Hutchison of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is also gratefully acknowledged.

Literature Cited

1.  Anadon, A., M.R. Martinez-Larranaga, M.J. Diaz, M.A. Martinez, M.T. Frejo, M. Martinez, M. Tafur, and V.J. Castellano. 2002. Pharmacokinetic characteristics and tissue residues for marbofloxacin and its metabolite N-desmethyl-marbofloxacin in broiler chickens. Am. J. Vet. Res. 63:927–933.

2.  Garcia-Montijano, M., S. Waxman, C. Sanchez, J. Quetglas, M.I. San Andres, F. Gonzalez, and C. Rodriguez. 2001. The disposition of marbofloxacin in Eurasian buzzards (Buteo buteo) after intravenous administration. J. Vet. Pharmacol. Ther. 24:155–157.


Speaker Information
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James W. Carpenter, MS, DVM, DACZM
Department of Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS, USA

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