The lack of pharmaceutical agents that are approved for use in pet birds in the United States is an important concern for veterinarians caring for avian species. As a result, drug doses used in those species are frequently derived from clinical reports or must be extrapolated from doses recommended for use in other species. This method of determining doses leads to issues that can be detrimental to the health of the bird being treated. Interest in the clinical pharmacology of pet bird species has increased in recent years and proper dosing of drugs and treatment of these animals has been improved as a result.
Marbofloxacina is a synthetic fluoroquinolone antimicrobial. Like other fluoroquinolones, it acts by inhibiting bacterial DNA gyrase. Marbofloxacin is safe and efficacious in other species and has rapid bactericidal activity against many gram-negative, and some gram-positive, aerobic organisms at relatively low concentrations.1 Efficacy against Staphylococcus intermedius, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas spp, and Mannheima haemolytica has been reported.2-7 Marbofloxacin has similar or higher antibacterial activity and a broader antibacterial spectrum than other fluoroquinolones.1
Marbofloxacin was developed exclusively for veterinary use and is approved for treatment of skin and soft tissue infections in dogs and cats and for urinary tract infections (ie, cystitis) in dogs. Marbofloxacin is rapidly and almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration in fasted animals, with a reported bioavailability of 94%.2 A study8 in dogs revealed that approximately 80% of marbofloxacin circulates unbound in the plasma. The drug is only minimally (approx 10% to 15% of drug dose) metabolized by the liver. Forty percent of an oral dose of marbofloxacin is excreted unchanged in the urine, with the remainder excreted unchanged (via the bile) in the feces.2
Because management of bacterial infections with antimicrobials is one of the most challenging aspects of the practice of avian medicine, a study was designed to determine the pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in blue and gold macaws (Ara ararauna), a species that is commonly kept as a companion animal and as a display animal in zoologic collections. Data derived from this study may be helpful in designing treatment regimens for bacterial diseases of blue and gold macaws and may yield information with clinical implications for other psittacine species.
High-performance liquid chromatography
Area under the concentration-versus-time curve
Area under the first moment curve
Mean residence time
Volume of distribution at steady state
Maximum plasma concentration
Minimum inhibitory concentration
Zeniquin, Pfizer Animal Health, Exton, Pa.
Daily Select Premium large bird food, Pretty Bird International Inc, Stacy, Minn.
Marbocyl FD, Vétoquinol International, Cedex, France.
Synergi Hydro RP (150 × 2.0 mm, 4 μm, 80 Å), Phenomenex, Torrance, Calif.
LCQduo, ThermoFinnigan, San Jose, Calif.
WinNonlin, version 3.1, Pharsight, Mountain View, Calif.
Spreng M, Deleforge J & Thomas V, et al. Antibacterial activity of marbofloxacin. A new fluoroquinolone for veterinary use against canine and feline isolates. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 1995;18: 284–289.
Cotard PJ, Gruet P & Pechereau, et al. Comparative study of marbofloxacin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid in the treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs. J Small Anim Pract 1995;36: 349–353.
Gruet P, Richard P & Thomas E, et al. Prevention of surgical infections in dogs with a single injection of marbofloxacin: an experimental model. Vet Rec 1997;140: 199–202.
Paradis M, Abbey L & Baker B, et al. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of marbofloxacin (Zeniquin) tablets for the treatment of canine pyoderma: an open clinical trial. Vet Dermatol 2001;12: 163–169.
Alibadi FS, Lees P. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetic /pharmacodynamic integration of marbofloxacin in calf serum, exudate and transudate. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2002;25: 161–174.
Horspool LJI, Van Larr P, Van Den Bos R, et al. Treatment of canine pyoderma with ibafloxacin and marbofloxacin fluoroquinolones with different pharmacokinetic profiles. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2004;27: 147–153.
Bidgood TL, Papich MG. Plasma and interstitial fluid pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin, its metabolite ciprofloxacin, and marbofloxacin after oral administration and a constant rate intravenous infusion in dogs. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2005;28: 329–341.
Schneider M, Thomas V & Boisrame B, et al. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in dogs after oral and parenteral administration. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 1996;19: 56–61.
Riviere JE. Comparative pharmacokinetics: principles, techniques, and applications. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1999;327.
Cester CC, Schneider M, Toutain PL. Comparative kinetics of two orally administered fluoroquinolones in dog: enrofloxacin versus marbofloxacin. Rev Méd Vét 1996;147: 703–716.
Frazier DL, Thompson L & Trettien A, et al. Comparison of fluoroquinolone pharmacokinetic parameters after treatment with marbofloxacin, enrofloxacin, and difloxacin in dogs. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2000;23: 293–302.
Heinen E. Compartive serum pharmacokinetics of the fluoroquinolones enrofloxacin, difloxacin, marbofloxacin, and orbifloxacin in dogs after single dose administration. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2002;25: 1–5.
Petracca K, Riond J-L & Graser T, et al. Pharmacokinetics of the gyrase inhibitor marbofloxacin: influence of pregnancy and lactation in sows. Zentralbl Veterinarmed [A] 1993;40: 73–79.
Shem-Tov M, Ziv G & Glickman A, et al. Pharmacokinetics and penetration of marbofloxacin from blood into the milk of cows and ewes. Zentralbl Veterinarmed [A] 1997;44: 511–519.
Waxman S, Rodriguez C. González F, et al. Pharmacokinetic behavior of marbofloxacin after intravenous and intramuscular administration in adult goats. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2001;24: 375–378.
Carretero M, Rodríguez C & San Andrés MI, et al. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in mature horses after single intravenous and intramuscular administration. Equine Vet J 2002;34: 360–365.
Martínez-Larrañaga MR, Díaz MJ & Fernández-Cruz ML, et al. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin in broiler chickens after intravenous administration. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 1997;20 (suppl 1):197.
Anadón A, Martínez-Larrañaga MR & Díaz MJ, et al. Pharmacokinetic characteristics and tissue residues for marbofloxacin and its metabolite N-desmethyl-marbofloxacin in broiler chickens. Am J Vet Res 2002;63: 927–933.
Chitty JR, Eyett-Burton CA. Preliminary investigation into the use of marbofloxacin in raptors, in Proceedings. 4th Conf Eur Comm Assoc Avian Vet1997;162–170.
Garcia-Montijano M, Waxman S. Sánchez C. The disposition of marbofloxacin in Eurasian buzzards (Buteo buteo) after intravenous administration. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2001;24:155–157.
Garcia-Montijano M, González F & Waxman S, et al. Pharmacokinetics of marbofloxacin after oral administration to Eurasian buzzards (Buteo buteo). J Avian Med Surg 2003;17: 185–190.