Effective ketoprofen dose identified for pig endotoxins

By Sarah Guy

Compared with tap water, treatment with ketoprofen significantly reduces the rectal temperature and total clinical scores among pigs challenged with the Escherichia coli endotoxin, report researchers.

Furthermore, the appropriate dose to achieve these outcomes is 2 mg/kg, the team writes in Veterinary Record. A higher 4 mg/kg dose did not have any additional beneficial effect on the pigs in their study.

"The importance of endotoxins in the pathogenesis of diseases in swine is extensively known in gastrointestinal tract infections, urinary tract infections, mastitis, and septicemia," say Katja Mustonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and co-workers.

However, they add that the effective oral dose or target plasma concentration of ketoprofen in pigs is unknown.

The team introduced an acute E. coli endotoxin (inducing an elevated rectal temperature, clinical signs of depression, an increased respiratory rate, and locomotion disturbances) into 40 pigs randomly assigned to five treatment groups.

An hour after being challenged with the endotoxin, one of the groups was given 1 ml/kg tap water (controls), and the other groups were given ketoprofen powder dissolved in tap water at either 0.5 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg, or 4 mg/kg.

The pigs' rectal temperatures and total clinical scores were elevated from 2 to 4 hours after endotoxin exposure in the control group, up to 2 hours in the two low-dose ketoprofen groups, and 1 hour in the two high-dose groups, report the study authors.

Indeed, the higher ketoprofen doses reduced rectal temperatures by a significant mean 0.35°C and 0.29°C for the 2 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg groups, respectively, compared with the control group. The differences in clinical scores were nonsignificant, however.

The researchers also measured the pigs' plasma TXB2 concentration - a high level of which indicates acute response to the endotoxin - after treatment and found it to be elevated up to 4 hours after endotoxin challenge in the control group and only 1 hour in the ketoprofen groups; a significant difference.

There were no significant differences in plasma TXB2 concentration by ketoprofen dose, remark Mustonen et al.

Twp pigs treated with 1 mg/kg ketoprofen died within 24 hours of the endotoxin challenge, and while one postmortem revealed no macroscopic pathologic signs, the other pig had fatty degeneration of the liver - a possible cause for death.

"Although ketoprofen is well tolerated, it is important to demonstrate that a dose of 2 mg/kg is appropriate in terms of efficacy," conclude the authors.

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