Azithromycin is classified as an azalide, a subclass of macrolide antimicrobials with a broad spectrum of activity in vitro against many potential bacterial pathogens including spirochetes, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis. Because of limited data on the use of azithromycin in avian medicine, this study was designed to determine the pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in blue and gold macaws (Ara ararauna), a species commonly seen in clinical practice. Azithromycin (10 mg/kg) was administered via crop lavage to five birds and intravenously to five birds, and blood samples were obtained at 0, 0.5, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr post-azithromycin administration. Following a 4-wk washout period, the study was repeated with a complete crossover study performed. Concentration of azithromycin in plasma samples was quantified using a validated liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry assay. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined using noncompartmental analysis. Based on the pharmacokinetic data generated from this study, a starting dose of azithromycin at 10 mg/kg p.o. every 48 hr for susceptible bacterial infections in blue and gold macaws is recommended.
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