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OBJECTIVE To determine the pharmacokinetics of cefovecin sodium after SC administration of a single dose to African lions (Panthera leo).

ANIMALS 3 adult (9 to 10 years old; 1 male and 2 females) and 3 juvenile (2 years old; 1 male and 2 females) African lions.

PROCEDURES A crossover study was conducted. A single dose of cefovecin was administered SC at 4 mg/kg (half dose) and 8 mg/kg (full dose) to African lions. Blood samples were collected daily for 14 days after cefovecin injection. Plasma drug concentrations were determined by use of high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection.

RESULTS Cefovecin had first-order elimination kinetics for doses of 4 and 8 mg/kg. Mean ± SD maximum plasma concentration was 9.73 ± 1.01 μg/mL and 18.35 ± 0.94 μg/mL after doses of 4 and 8 mg/kg, respectively. Time to maximum plasma concentration was approximately 4 hours for both doses. Mean elimination half-life was approximately 111 and 115 hours after doses of 4 and 8 mg/kg, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cefovecin was detected in lion plasma for 336 hours after administration at both 4 and 8 mg/kg at concentrations greater than the reported minimum inhibitory concentration (0.06 μg/mL) for common bacterial organisms in domestic cats. These results indicated that cefovecin administered at 4 mg/kg SC reached therapeutic concentrations for an extended period in African lions.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research