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Open Access Research article

Clinical evaluation of cardiac effects of experimental doxycycline overdosing in healthy calves

Mounir Brihoum1, Frédéric Rollin2, Daniel Desmecht3, Johann Detilleux4 and Hélène Amory1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Companion Animals and Equids, Equine Clinic, B41, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, (20, Boulevard de Colonster, Sart Tilman), Liège, (4000), Belgium

2 Clinical Department of Production Animals, Clinic for Ruminants, B42, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, (20, Boulevard de Colonster, Sart Tilman), Liège, (4000), Belgium

3 Department of Morphology and Pathology, Systemic Pathology, B43, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, (20, Boulevard de Colonster, Sart Tilman), Liège, (4000), Belgium

4 Quantitative Genetics, B43, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, (20, Boulevard de Colonster, Sart Tilman), Liège, (4000), Belgium

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BMC Veterinary Research 2011, 7:40  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-7-40

Published: 25 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Cardiac morphologic and functional changes consistent with cardiomyopathy have been reported in field cases of calves with accidental doxycycline overdosing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinically the cardiac effects of an experimentally-induced doxycycline overdosing in healthy calves.

Twelve 2 months-old healthy Belgian Blue calves were studied. Six of them (group 1) received the normal dose (5 mg/kg, BID) and the six others (group 2) received five times the normal dose (25 mg/kg, BID) of oral doxycycline for five consecutive days (D1 to D5). Each calf was clinically examined daily. Measurement of serum AST, CK, Iso-CKs and LDH activities and an echocardiographic examination were performed before (D0) and one day after (D6) the last doxycycline administration. An ECG tracing was recorded at D0, D4, and D6.

Results

In both groups, no clinical, blood, echocardiographic or electrocardiographic changes suggestive of a cardiomyopathy were observed. Only a decreased appetite was observed in the calves of the group 2 between D3 and D6.

Conclusions

This trial failed to reproduce cardiac changes reported in accidental doxycycline-poisoning in calves, suggesting that high doses of doxycycline may not be the only etiologic factor of the cardiomyopathy reported in the field cases.