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BACTERIAL diseases are common in laboratory and pet rabbits, and successful treatment depends on careful and accurate diagnosis, correction of underlying husbandry deficits and management of concurrent disease processes (Lennox and Kelleher 2009).
Benzylpenicillin potassium (penicillin G) is a ‘narrow-spectrum’ penicillin, which is active specifically against Gram-positive aerobes, facultative aerobes and obligate anaerobes. In rabbits, penicillin G is recommended for the treatment of pasteurellosis, odontogenic abscesses and treponematosis (Jaslow and others 1981, Gaertner 1991, Varga 2014). However, it is recommended in various dosages and in different dosage intervals (eg, three times a day, once a day, once in two or seven days, Welch and others 1987, Varga 2014).
As there is only one study of penicillin G pharmacokinetics in rabbits, which was published nearly 30 years ago (Welch and others 1987), the aim of the article was to determine the pharmacokinetic concentrations of benzylpenicillin potassium in rabbit plasma samples after a single intramuscular administration of 38 mg/kg bodyweight (BW) and to recommend an optimal dosing interval.
Six clinically normal six-month-old outbred male New Zealand White specific pathogen-free rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), strain Hsdlf:NZW, Harlan Laboratories Inc, Belton, UK) were used in the study. Weight of the animals ranged from 3.22 to 3.77 kg (mean 3.36±0.2 kg). The animals were housed individually in an animal care facility with controlled conditions. The animals were housed and handled under the agreement of the Branch Commission for Animal Welfare of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.
Benzylpenicillin potassium (Biotika, BB Pharma, Slovakia) was administered in an aqueous solution intramuscularly (gluteus muscle) at a dose of 38 mg/kg BW (60,000 IU/kg BW). Blood samples were collected from the central auricular artery with a 25-gauge needle and a blood container filled with 0.1 ml of heparin. Blood was obtained at 12 different time points: immediately (0 hours) before …