Effect of spiramycin and tulathromycin on abomasal emptying rate in milk-fed calves

Mehdi Rashnavadi, Mohammad Nouri, Mohammad R. Haji Hajikolaei, Housain Najafzadeh, Peter D. Constable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impaired abomasal motility is common in cattle with abomasal disorders. The macrolide erythromycin has been demonstrated to be an effective prokinetic agent in healthy calves and in adult cattle with abomasal volvulus or left displaced abomasum. We hypothesized that 2 structurally related macrolides, spiramycin and tulathromycin, would also be effective prokinetic agents in cattle. Six milk-fed, male, Holstein-Friesian calves were administered each of the following 4 treatments: spiramycin, 75 000 IU/kg BW, IM, this dose approximates 25 mg/kg BW, IM; tulathromycin, 2.5 mg/kg BW, SC; 2 mL of 0.9% NaCl (negative control); and erythromycin, 8.8 mg/kg BW, IM (positive control). Calves were fed 2 L of cow's milk containing acetaminophen (50 mg/kg body weight) 30 min after each treatment was administered and jugular venous blood samples were obtained periodically after the start of sucking. Abomasal emptying rate was assessed by the time to maximal plasma acetaminophen concentration. Spiramycin, tulathromycin, and the positive control erythromycin increased abomasal emptying rate compared to the negative control. We conclude that the labeled antimicrobial dose of spiramycin and tulathromycin increases the abomasal emptying rate in healthy milk-fed calves. Additional studies investigating whether spiramycin and tulathromycin exert a prokinetic effect in adult cattle with abomasal hypomotility appear indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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