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Doxycycline (DXC) is a broad-spectrum antibacterial antimicrobial administered to horses for the treatment of bacterial infections which may also affect donkeys. Donkeys have a different metabolism than horses, leading to differences in the pharmacokinetics of drugs compared to horses. This study aimed to describe the population pharmacokinetics of DXC in donkeys. Five doses of DXC hyclate (10 mg/kg) were administered via a nasogastric tube, q12 h, to eight non-fasted, healthy, adult jennies. Serum, urine, synovial fluid and endometrium were collected for 72 h following the first administration. Doxycycline concentration was measured by competitive enzyme immunoassay. Serum concentrations versus time data were fitted simultaneously using the stochastic approximation expectation-maximization algorithm for nonlinear mixed effects. A one-compartment model with linear elimination and first-order absorption after intragastric administration, best described the available pharmacokinetic data. Final parameter estimates indicate that DXC has a high volume of distribution (108 L/kg) as well as high absorption (10.3 h-1) in donkeys. However, results suggest that oral DXC at 10 mg/kg q12 h in donkeys would not result in a therapeutic concentration in serum, urine, synovial fluid or endometrium by comparison to the minimum inhibitory concentration of common equine pathogens. Further studies are recommended to identify appropriate dosage and dosing intervals of oral DXC in donkeys.

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