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Murray E. Fowler
Copyright 0 2001 Iowa State University Press

Drug Dosages Used
in Avian Medicine
Karin Werther

TABLE A.l. Principle drugs and doses used in avian medicine

Drug Dose Route Comments

Ami kacin 10-15 mg/kg BID, TTD IM, IV,SC Broad spectrum; nephrotoxicity increased with
15-20 m&g SID or BID dehydrated patients, synergism effect when
used with third-generation penicillin
Amoxici11in 150-175 mg/kg TID, SID, PO, IM Not a very effective drug against common
BID, QID avian pathogens
Ampicillin 100-200 mgkg TID to PO, IM Poor gastrointcstinal absorption, high gastrointestinal
QD,BID spccificity
Cefotaxime 75-100 mgkg W, IM Penetrates blood-brain barrier. Best results if QID
Cephalosporin 50-100 mg/kg QID IM,nr Not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, painful
Chloramphenicol 30-50 mglkg every 6 to PO, IM, IV If administcred by IV, the product will be cxcreted
succinate 8 hours rapidly by the livec Useful for several bacterial
50-80 mgkg BID, TID septicemia
80-1 00 mglkg BID, TID
Chloramphenicol Erratically absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract
Clindamycin Pigeons 100 mgkg SID PO Monitor renal and hepatic functions during long-term
use and for secondary yeast infection. Primarily
indicated in cases of osteomyelitis
Enrofloxacin 7.5-15’mgkg BID, SID: PO, IM Little evidence of joint problem developing in young
most species
5 mg/kg BID: cockatoos, PO, IM
African grey parrots
Lincomycin 75 mgkg BID: Amazon PO Use carefully, overdose is lcthal
100 mgkg SID: raptors PO Useful in dermatitis. May be effective in treatment of
chronic respiratory infections caused by Mycoplasma
Tylosin 250-400 mg/L drinking PO Useful in Mycoplasma upper respiratory infections
water or 400 mg/kg
mixed with soft food
10-40 mg/kg TID, QID: IM
15 mg/kg TID, QID: IM


TABLE A.l. cont’d



Drug Dose Route Comments

100 mg/lO mL diluted Nebulization
in sterile saline solution.
1 g diluted in 50 mL
DMSO or 100 mg
diluted in 3 0 mL of
saline solution.’
Trimethoprim and 16-24 mg/kg BID, TID: PO Regurgitation is a potential side effect. Patients suffering
sulfamethoxazole Psittaciformes from liver diseascs or bone marrow suppression
8 mg/kg Psittaciformes IM should not be treated with this drug
25 mdkg SID, BID: PO For coccidia
toucans, mynahs
50 mgkg SID: pigeons PO Oral suspension is one of the drugs of choice for
2.5 mg/kg BID: pigeons PO treatmcnt of gastrointestinal and respiratory
AmphoTericin B 1.5 mgkg BID, TID IV Possible nephrotoxicity, may cause blood dyscrasia
1 mgkg BID, TID Intratrachcal
1 mg/mL saline solution Nebulization
15 min BID
Itraconazole 5-10 nig/kg BID PO More effective against aspergillosis and less toxic than
5 mgkg SID: African PO other antifungals
gray parrots
Ketoconazole 20-30 mgkg BID: PO (gavage) Used for candidiasis. May cause hepatocellular necrosis
Flucytosine 20-50 mg/kg BID for PO Indicated for long-term treatment of aspergillosis.
21 days: most birds Is toxic to the bone marrow
20-30 mgkg QID: PO (gavage)
Fluconazole 2-5 mgkg SID for PO May not be compatible with another antifungal. In
7 days vitro, activity for aspergillosis, candidiasis and cripto-
coccosis. Passes blood-brain barrier
Antiparasitic Drugs

Amprolium 200-400 md3.8 L PO For coccidia

drinking water for
5 days
Fen bendazole 5-15 mglkg for 5 days: PO For ascarids, repeat after 10 days, for Cupillaria
anseriformes treatment for 5 days. Don’t use during molt
20-50 mgkg: most for PO
3-5 days
Ivermectin 200 pg/kg: most IM, PO, Repeat 10-14 days
Metronidazole 10-30 mg/kg BID for PO For Giardia, Hexamitu, flagellates. Don’t use in
1 0 days finches
SO-60 mg/kg BlD for PO
: 10 days
1 0 mgikg SID for 2 days IM
Praziquantel 10-20 mdkg PO For flukes (3 days SID, IM followed by 11 days PO).
9 mg/kg: most IM Trematodes, cestodes, repeat 10-14 days. Don’t use
for finches
Sulfamethazine 30 md30 mL drinking PO For coccidia
water, 3 days on, 2 days
off, 3 days on

TABLE A.l. cont'd


Drug Dose Route Comments


Vitamin A 10-25 IU/300 g body IM (weekly) Epithelial disorders

Vitamin D, 1 IU/300 g body weight 1M (weekly) Calcium deficiencies
Vitamin E + 0.05-0.1 mg/kg IM (every 14 Neuromuscular diseases
selenium days)
Vitamin B 1-3 mg/kg thiamine IM Neuromuscular disease; deb'ilitating illness of the liver,
complex 1-2 g/kg of feed SID: PO kidney, and gastrointestinal tract; and anemia
raptors, crows, penguins
Vitamin C 20-40 mgkg daily to IM
Vitamin K 0.2-2.5 mg/kg SID IM For extreme blood loss, anemia, Warfarin toxicity,
hemorrhagic disorders.
Other Drugs
Atropine 0.01-0.02 mg/kg IM, SC Not recommended as a preanesthetic in avian species;
thickens respiratory secretion that may block
endotracheal tube. Used in organophosphate
poisoning. Does not dilate pupils in avian species
Ca-EDTA 20-40 mg/kg BID to TID IM Chelates lead and zinc, may cause tubular necrosis, and
should be discontinued if polyuridpolydipsia occurs
Flunixin 1-10 mgkg IM Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, may cause
meglumine diarrhea or vomiting
~ ~~ ~

Source: Modified from references 1-3.

BID, twice a day; DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide; EDTA, ethylenediarninetetraacetate; IM, intramuscularly; IV, intravenously; PO, by mouth;
QID, four times a day; SC, subcutaneously; SID, once a day; TID, three times a day.

TABLE A.2. Medication interactions

Drug No. 1 ,Drug No. 2 Effccts of Drugs No. 1 + 2

~~ ~

Chloramphenicol Anesthcsia (barbiturates) Prolongs anesthesia

Aminoglycosides Narcotics Intensifies muscular relaxation
Muscular relaxants Neomycin, kanamycin or streptomycin Synergism with the motor end plate
Tetracycline Bi- or trivalent cations (Ca") Forms no absorbable complexes in the intestine
Sulfonarnide Alkaline substances (NaCO,) Increases excretion of sulfonamides
Sulfonamide May separate other drugs or poisons Intensifies the effects of the drugs or poisons
that are bound to plasma protein
Sulfadimidine Pantothenic acid Increases excretion of sulfonamides
Cardiac glycosides Diuretic Increases cardiac sensitivity to the glycosides
Furazolidonc Amprolium or nitrobenzamides Neurotoxic
Ionophore Tiamulin Toxic for chicken and turkey
Lasalocid Chloramphenicol Causes paresis and ataxia in chickens
Quinacrine Primaquine Toxic synergism
Bactericides and Bacteriostatics
Primary Bactericides
Polimixin B Tetracycline Reduced antibacterial efficiency
Colistin Chloramphenicol or novobiocin Reduced antibacterial efficiency
Neomycin Oleandomicin or viomicin Reduced antibacterial efficiency
Aminoglycosides Spiramycin or sulfonamide or Reduced antibacterial efficiency
Secondary Bactericides
Bacitracin Tetracycline May reduce efficiency
Penicillin Chloramphenicol or novobiocin May reduce efficiency
Cephalosporin Oleandom ycin May reduce efficiency
Aminoglycosides Spiramycin or sulfonamide or May reduce efficiency
(streptomycin and clindamycin
Gentamicin Carbenicilh or penicillin or cefalotoxin Reduced antibacterial effect
or tetracycline
Amphotericin B Flucytosin Potentiates amphotcricin B. Use only 25% of the
usual doses
~~ ~ ~~~ ~~

Source: Modified from reference 4, p.155.



Bird Species Drug Effect

Most birds Corticoid Hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia, ulcers,

lymphopcnia, death
Most birds American doxycycline Nccrosis at 1M injection site
Most birds Lincomycin intravcnous Death
All birds Procaine in every composition Paralysis and dcath
All birds Xylocaine as injectable diluent Paralysis and death
Debilitated or stressed birds Anesthesia with halothanc Bradycardia and vomitiiig
Ostriches Thia bendazole Don’t support
Cormorants Mebendazole Don’t use in cormorants
Penguin Drugs for malnria. treatment Death
Fenilmercuridinaftilmetadi sulfonate Death
directly in the air sacs for aspergillosis
Me bendazolc Death
Niclosamide (Yomesan ) PO Do not use
Nihydrazone Do not use
Dihydrostreptoinycin IM Do not use
Benzimidazole (anthelmintics), Interferes with fcrtility and egg hatching
5-Nitroimidazole (antiprotozoan),
nitrofuran, reserpinc, Nicarbazin,
Prednisolone after 1-2 injections of 5 niglkg Intestinal ulcer
Mebendazole and fenbendazole Do not use
Pigeons during the molt Fenbendazole Do not use
Psittaciformes Mebendazole Do not use because it may cause death by
intestinal occlusion
Streptomycin IM Do not use
Haloxon Do not use
Loriinae (lories) Tetramisole Do not use
Centamicin IM, SC, IV Sensible
Nitrofurazone in drinking water or as Seizures and death
substitute for nectar
Cacatuinae (cockatoos) Lcvamisole SC or IM Depressions, paralysis
Ticarcillin associate with tobramycin IM Hepatotoxic
Amazon parrots Cephaloridine SC, periorbital Causes blindness
Budgerigars Perdixemulsion for mites treatment Paralysis, death
Dimetridazole during reproduction Do not usc
Ivermectiii IM Do not use
Levamisole SC and 1M Depressions ataxia, vomiting, paralysis,
Diazepam Death after 17-24 hours
Cockatiel (4-11 days old) Dimetridazole solution 0.1% in feed After 24 hours debility, after 48 hours dcath,
Cockatiel (24-31 days old) Dimetridazole solution 0.5% Ataxia after 24 hours
Raptors Streptomycin, insecticide, organochlorine High sensitivity
Haloxon, repeat use of metomidate High sensitivity
Waterfowl Haloxon High sensitivity
Waterfowl (young) Holofuginon (coccidiostatic) Progressive weight loss and death
Geese, ducks Furazolidone Do not use
Geese 300 mg/kg levamisole Death
Canaries Fenbendazole in drinking water Ataxia, depression and mydriasis
Mynah Levamisole SC Do not use

Source: Modified from reference 6.

IM intramuscularly; IV, intravenously; PO, by mouth; SC, subcutaneously.

REFERENCES 4. Gylstorff, I.; and Grimm, F. 1987. Vogelkrankheiten.

Stuttgart, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, p. 155.
1. Rupley, A.E. 1999. Manual de Clinica Aviiria. SHo 5. Tully Jr., T.N.; and Harisson, G.J. 1994. Pneumonology.
Paulo, Editora Koca, pp. 535-5.52. In B.W. Ritchie, G.J. Harisson, and L.R. Harisson, eds.,
2. Ritchie, B.W.; and Harrisson, G.J. 1994. Formulary. In Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications. Lake
B.W. Ritchie, G.J. Harrisson, and L.R. Harrison, eds., Worth, Florida, Wingers Publishing, p. 574.
Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications. Lake 6. Ritchie, B.W. 1995. Avian Viruses: Function and Con-
Worth, Florida, Wingers Publishing, pp. 457-478. trol. Lake Worth, Florida, Wingers Publishing, p. 298.
3 . Tully, T.N., Jr. 1997. Formulary. In R.B. Altmann, S.L.
Clubb, G.M. Dorrestein, and K. Quesenberry, eds.,
Avian Medicine and Surgery. Philadelphia, W.B. Saun-
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