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Assessment of plasma concentrations of doxycycline in budgerigars fed medicated seed or water

Keven Flammer DVM, DABVP1, Maureen M. Trogdon2,3, and Mark Papich DVM, MS, DACVCP4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
  • | 3 Present address is National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, PO Box 12233 MD CO-01, 111 TW Alexander Dr, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.
  • | 4 Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether plasma doxycycline concentrations considered effective for treatment of avian chlamydiosis could be safely established and maintained in budgerigars via administration of doxycycline in water or seed.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—68 healthy mature budgerigars.

Procedure—In 14-day trials, plasma doxycycline concentrations were measured in budgerigars provided with water containing 0, 50, 100, 200, or 400 mg of doxycycline hyclate/L or a hulled seed diet containing 0, 100, 200, or 400 mg of doxycycline hyclate/kg. On the basis of these results, birds were fed seed containing 300 mg of doxycycline/kg for 42 days, and a control group received unmedicated seed. Blood samples for plasma doxycycline analysis were collected either in the morning on treatment days 4, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 or in the afternoon on days 12, 26, and 40. Birds were observed daily. On days 14, 28, and 42, physical and plasma biochemical variables, PCV, and total solids concentration were measured; cloacal specimens were obtained for bacteriologic and fungal culture.

Results—During a 14-day period, treatment with water containing ≤ 400 mg of doxycycline/L did not maintain plasma doxycycline concentrations of ≥ 1 μg/mL, but seed containing 300 mg of doxycycline hyclate/kg maintained mean plasma doxycycline concentrations > 0.98 μg/mL for 42 days without notable adverse effects.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that hulled seed containing 300 mg of doxycycline hyclate/kg can safely establish and maintain plasma doxycycline concentrations that are considered adequate for treatment of chlamydiosis in adult nonbreeding budgerigars. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003; 223:993–998)