Effect of erythromycin and gentamicin on abomasal emptying rate in suckling calves

M. Nouri, M. R. Hajikolaee, P. D. Constable, A. Omidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Commonly used dosage protocols for antimicrobial agents may alter the rate of gastric emptying. Hypothesis: Parenteral administration of erythromycin increases and gentamicin decreases the rate of abomasal emptying. Animals: Five male Holstein-Friesian calves (8-15 days of age). Methods: Calves received each of the following 4IM treatments in random order: control, 2mL of 0.9% NaCl; erythromycin, 8.8mg/kg; low-dose gentamicin, 4.4mg/kg; high-dose gentamicin, 6.6mg/kg. Abomasal emptying rate was assessed by acetaminophen and glucose absorption. Calves were fed 2 L of cow's milk containing acetaminophen (50 mg/kg body weight) 30 minutes after each treatment was administered, and jugular venous blood samples were obtained periodically after suckling. The maximum observed plasma acetaminophen concentration (actual Cmax) and time of actual Cmax (actual Tmax) were determined, and pharmacokinetic modeling was used to calculate model Cmax and model Tmax. Results: Erythromycin increased abomasal emptying rate, as indicated by a shorter time to actual Tmax and model Tmax (P < .05). Abomasal emptying rate after injection of low-dose gentamicin was similar to that of control. Administration of high-dose gentamicin resulted in a longer time to actual Tmax (P = .021) but did not change model Tmax (P = .62). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: IM injection of erythromycin increased abomasal emptying rate in dairy calves, whereas low-dose and high-dose gentamicin did not alter the rate of abomasal emptying as measured by acetaminophen kinetics and glucose absorption. The clinical relevance of these findings remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aminoglycoside
  • Glucose absorption curve
  • Macrolide
  • Prokinetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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