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Vet Res Commun. 2001 Jul;25(5):391-400.

The pharmacokinetics of a long-acting oxytetracycline formulation in healthy dogs and in dogs infected with Ehrlichia canis.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya.


The pharmacokinetic properties of oxytetracycline were studied following a single injection of a long-acting formulation (20 mg/kg body weight) into the semimembranosus muscle of healthy dogs and of dogs that had been experimentally infected with Ehrlichia canis. The disposition curves of the long-acting oxytetracycline formulation before and after infection were best described by a bi-exponential decline after a first-order absorption. The mean maximum serum concentration (Cmax) following infection was significantly lower and the time taken to attain this concentration (tmax) was significantly shorter than that in the healthy dogs. The mean apparent elimination half-life (t(1/2) beta) was significantly increased following infection. The corresponding rate constant (beta) was significantly decreased. The absorption half-life (t(1/2) ab) was significantly decreased after infection. The volume of distribution at steady state (Vdss) increased significantly following infection. It was concluded that the pharmacokinetic behaviour of a long-acting oxytetracycline in dogs after intramuscular administration is characterized by a two-compartment model with a slow elimination phase. This could be due to flip-flop kinetics. The febrile reaction in experimental E. canis infection affected some pharmacokinetic parameters of oxytetracycline.

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