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OBJECTIVE To determine the pharmacokinetics of pergolide after IV administration to horses.

ANIMALS 8 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURES Pergolide mesylate was administered IV at a dose of 20 μg/kg (equivalent to 15.2 μg of pergolide/kg) to each horse, and blood samples were collected over 48 hours. Pergolide concentrations in plasma were determined by means of high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and pharmacokinetic parameters were determined on the basis of noncompartmental methods.

RESULTS After IV administration of pergolide, mean ± SD clearance, elimination half-life, and initial volume of distribution were 959 ± 492 mL/h/kg, 5.64 ± 2.36 hours, and 0.79 ± 0.32 L/kg, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With an elimination half-life of approximately 6 hours, twice-daily dosing may be more appropriate than once-daily dosing to reduce peak-trough fluctuation in pergolide concentrations. Further pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies of pergolide and its metabolites will be necessary to determine plasma concentrations that correlate with clinical effectiveness to determine the therapeutic range for the treatment of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



A 1-year-old male eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) with a 3- to 4-month history of blepharospasm in the right eye was referred to a veterinary medical teaching hospital for further evaluation. Conventional medical treatments had been ineffective. The referring avian specialist had plucked a suspected ectopic feather from the right eye 6 weeks prior to the referral evaluation.


The parrot was sedated, and ophthalmic examination of the right eye with slit-lamp biomicroscopy revealed a 3 × 2 × 2-mm raised vascular mass with a focally pigmented center associated with the temporal aspect of the leading edge of the third eyelid. No abnormalities were detected in the left eye.


The parrot was anesthetized, and the right eye mass was excised and submitted for histologic examination. Histologically, there was a single pigmented feather follicle bulb surrounded by multiple discrete lymphoid follicles and moderate lymphoplasmacytic inflammation within the substantia propria of the third eyelid conjunctiva. The histologically normal feather follicle in an abnormal location classified the lesion as a choristoma. Nine months after surgery, the parrot had no signs of ocular discomfort and no overt regrowth of the feather follicle.


For the eclectus parrot of this report, a lesion caused by normal differentiation of an ectopic feather follicle in the right third eyelid was successfully treated. A third eyelid choristoma appears to be a hitherto unreported pathological finding in avian species. Although rare, the presence of a choristoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis for birds with blepharospasm.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine pharmacokinetics and plasma steady-state kinetics of metformin after oral or nasogastric administration in insulin-resistant (IR) ponies

Animals—8 IR ponies

Procedures—Metformin (30 mg/kg) was administered to 8 ponies via nasogastric tube Blood samples were collected at intervals for 24 hours. Plasma concentrations of metformin were measured via liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectroscopy Pharmacokinetic variables were determined via noncompartmental analysis. Metformin (15 mg/kg, PO, twice daily [8 am and 5 pm]) was administered to 4 ponies for an additional 20 days, and blood samples were obtained every 2 days. Plasma concentration at steady state (Css) was determined.

Results—Mean ± SD elimination half-life (t1/2) of metformin was 11.7 ± 5.2 hours, maxima plasma concentration was 748 ± 269 ng/mL at 54 ± 32 minutes, mean area under the curve was 355 ± 92μg•h/mL, and apparent clearance was 90.6 ± 28.1 mL/min/kg. The Css was 122 ± 22 ng/mL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Metformin reportedly enhances insulin sensitivity of peripheral tissues without stimulating insulin secretion, but bioavailability in horses is low. The t1/2 of metformin in IR ponies was similar to that in humans. Actual clearance of metformin adjusted for bioavailability in IR ponies was similar to that in humans; however, during chronic oral administration at dosages reported in efficacy studies, the Css of metformin was less than values associated with therapeutic efficacy in humans The apparent lack of long-term efficacy of metformin in horses is likely attributable to low bioavailability, rather than to rapid clearance. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1201-1206)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine plasma drug concentrations after IV administration of a bolus followed by continuous rate infusion (CRI) of sodium benzylpenicillin and ceftiofur sodium to healthy adult horses.

ANIMALS 6 Thoroughbred mares (3 to 9 years old; mean ± SD body weight, 544 ± 55 kg) with no history of recent antimicrobial treatment.

PROCEDURES Horses were used in 2 experiments conducted 14 days apart. For each experiment, horses were housed individually in stables, and catheters were placed bilaterally in both jugular veins for drug administration by CRI (left catheter) and for intermittent collection of blood samples (right catheter). Synovial fluid samples were obtained from carpal joints following ceftiofur administration to evaluate drug diffusion into articular spaces.

RESULTS Plasma concentrations above accepted minimum inhibitory concentrations for common pathogens of horses were achieved within 1 minute after bolus administration and remained above the minimum inhibitory concentration for 48 (ceftiofur) or 12 (benzylpenicillin) hours (ie, the duration of the CRI). Mean synovial fluid ceftiofur free acid equivalent concentrations were approximately 46% (range, 25.4% to 59.8%) of plasma concentrations at the end of infusion.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Compared with intermittent bolus administration, the loading dose and CRI used less drug but maintained high plasma concentrations for the duration of infusion. By use of pharmacological parameters derived in this study, a loading dose of 2.5 mg/kg and CRI of 200 μg/kg/h should achieve plasma ceftiofur concentrations of 4 μg/mL; a loading dose and CRI of 1.3 mg/kg and 2.5 μg/kg/h, respectively, should achieve plasma benzylpenicillin concentrations of 2 μg/mL.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research