The pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin administered orally and i.v. to American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at 5 mg/kg was determined. Plasma levels of enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography and the resulting concentration versus time curve analyzed using compartmental modeling techniques for the i.v. data and noncompartmental modeling techniques for the oral data. A two-compartment model best represented the i.v. data. Intravenous administration of enrofloxacin resulted in an extrapolated mean plasma concentration of 4.19 ± 4.23 μg/ml at time zero, with average plasma drug levels remaining above 1.0 μg/ml for an average of 36 hr. Plasma volume of distribution for i.v. enrofloxacin was 1.88 ± 0.96 L/kg, with a harmonic mean elimination half-life of 21.05 hr and mean total body clearance rate of 0.047 ± 0.021 L/hr/kg. Plasma levels of p.o. enrofloxacin remained below 1.0 μg/ml in all test animals, and average concentrations ranged from 0.08 to 0.50 μg/ml throughout the sampling period. Oral administration of enrofloxacin achieved a mean maximum plasma concentration of 0.50 ± 0.27 μg/ml at 55 ± 29 hr after administration, with a harmonic mean terminal elimination half-life of 77.73 hr. Minimal levels of ciprofloxacin were detected after both oral and i.v. enrofloxacin administration, with concentrations below minimum inhibitory concentrations for most susceptible organisms. On the basis of the results of this study, enrofloxacin administered to American alligators at 5 mg/kg i.v. q 36 hr is expected to maintain plasma concentrations that approximate the minimum inhibitory concentration for susceptible organisms (0.5 μg/ml). Enrofloxacin administered to American alligators at 5 mg/kg p.o. is not expected to achieve minimum inhibitory values for susceptible organisms.
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Vol. 35 • No. 3