Septicemia and foot infections associated with Fusobacterium necrophorum, Pasturella multocida, and Streptococcus suis in captive fallow deer (Dama dama) are reasonably treated with ceftiofur hydrochloride. This study describes the disposition of ceftiofur after single-dose intravenous and intramuscular administration of 3.65 ± 0.1678 mg/kg in six female adult fallow deer using a nonrandomized crossover design and a 7-day washout period. Serial blood samples were collected for 12 hr postdrug administration. Ceftiofur bioactivity, including its active metabolite desfuroylceftiofur, was quantitated in serum using a microbiologic assay. After i.v. administration, the extrapolated serum drug concentration reported as median (range) was 52.83 (43.32–57.49) μg/ml and elimination half-life was 178.36 (19.75–217.22) min. The volume of distribution at steady-state was 0.171 (0.101–0.229) L/kg and serum clearance was 0.97 (0.48–4.3) ml/min per kg. After i.m. administration, median peak plasma concentration (Cmax) was 14.37 (9.00–32.00) μg/ml at 54.5 (11.00–95.00) min. The median elimination half-life and mean residence time were 128.32 (38.03–242.40) and 203.65 (62.48–347.15) min, respectively. The median absorption time after i.m. administration was 14.77 (−57.74 to 94.79) min. Bioavailability of ceftiofur following i.m. administration was 78.00 (58.00–137.00) percent. Based on this study, a mean i.m. dose of ceftiofur of 3.65 ± 0.1678 mg/kg every 12 hr is recommended for maintaining serum concentrations above MIC90 levels for infections associated with F. necrophorum, P. multocida, and S. suis, in addition to other susceptible infectious bacteria.
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