Verminous bronchopneumonia caused by infection with Otostrongylus circumlitus and Parafilaroides gymnurus is an important cause of death during the rehabilitation of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). During the winter of 2000/01, 35 juvenile harbour seals with severe clinical signs of verminous bronchopneumonia were treated with either 0·2 mg/kg ivermectin orally or 0·2 mg/kg moxidectin subcutaneously, and monitored for 30 days. The efficacy of the anthelmintics was determined by the pattern of larval excretion (Baermannisation) and the progress of the clinical signs. Both anthelmintics had reduced larval excretion by at least 99 per cent after 10 days, but the seals' rapid breathing rate and and dyspnoea returned to normal more quickly in the animals treated with moxidectin. The pharmacokinetics of the anthelmintics were determined by solid-phase extraction, and high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Moxidectin had a mean (sd) residence time of 9·04 (2·12) days compared with 4·83 (1·14) days for ivermectin.
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