The pharmacokinetics of ceftiofur crystalline-free acid (EXCEDE Sterile Suspension, 200 mg ceftiofur equivalents/ml) were determined for the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). A single dose of EXCEDE was administered intramuscularly at 6.6 mg/kg to 12 wild California sea lions during rehabilitation. The first 10 animals were each assigned to two blood collection time points, with a total of 10 time points at: 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, 168, and 192 hr after administration of the drug. An additional two animals were sampled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 hr postinjection. Plasma was separated within 10 min of blood collection and stored at −20°C until analysis. Plasma concentrations of ceftiofur, desfuroylceftiofur, and related metabolites, were determined using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (MS). Maximum plasma concentrations of ceftiofur and related metabolites were observed 24 hr postdosing with a mean concentration of 3.6 μg/ml. The half life (60 hr) and area under the curve (270 μg·hr/ml) were also determined. These data indicate that a single dose of EXCEDE at 6.6 mg/kg i.m. would likely maintain a mean plasma drug level >0.6 μg/ml for 5 days and >0.5 μg/ml for 8 days.
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