Objective—To compare pharmacokinetics after a single IM or SC injection of ceftiofur crystalline-free acid (CCFA) to bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).
Animals—8 adult male bearded dragons.
Procedures—In a preliminary experiment, doses of 15 and 30 mg/kg, SC, were compared in 2 animals, and 30 mg/kg resulted in a more desirable pharmacokinetic profile. Then, in a randomized, complete crossover experimental design, each bearded dragon (n = 6) received a single dose of 30 mg of CCFA/kg IM or SC; the experiment was repeated after a 28-day washout period with the other route of administration. Blood samples were collected at 10 time points for 288 hours after injection. Plasma concentrations of ceftiofur and desfuroylceftiofur metabolites were measured via reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Data were analyzed with a noncompartmental model.
Results—No adverse effects were observed. Plasma concentrations greater than a target minimum inhibitory concentration of 1 μg/mL were achieved by 4 hours after administration by both routes. Mean plasma concentrations remained > 1 μg/mL for > 288 hours for both routes of administration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A single dose of CCFA (30 mg/kg) administered IM or SC to bearded dragons yielded plasma concentrations of ceftiofur and its metabolites > 1 μg/mL for > 288 hours. The SC route would be preferred because of less variability in plasma concentrations and greater ease of administration than the IM route. Future studies should include efficacy data as well as evaluation of the administration of multiple doses.