Research Updates: Single-injection antibiotic treatment for cats with abscesses and infected wounds - Veterinary Medicine
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Research Updates: Single-injection antibiotic treatment for cats with abscesses and infected wounds



This study demonstrated that the use of a single dose of cefovecin at the manufacturer's recommended dosage was at least as effective as an alternative, commonly used cephalosporin. The study also validated the results of a previous European study comparing the use of cefovecin to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid for the same indications.2 In addition, the high cure and significant improvement rate reported here suggests that cephalosporins may be appropriate first-line antibiotics for cutaneous infections in cats. However, because of the recurring nature of subcutaneous abscesses in cats, longer-term follow-up is still required to ensure that this class of drugs is truly effective for disease resolution. In the European study, 95% of cats with subcutaneous abscesses treated with cefovecin required only one course of treatment vs. 81.5% of cats with infected skin wounds.2 Cefovecin may be particularly appealing in difficult-to-handle patients, those with owners who have difficulty administering pills, or outdoor cats that cannot be reliably given daily drugs.

Keep in mind that extrapolating the results of this study to justify using cefovecin to treat other infections at other sites is inappropriate at this time; whether cefovecin's minimum inhibitory concentration is achieved in other body tissues requires further study. However, the unchanged urinary excretion of this drug reported elsewhere suggests that it is a reasonable choice for treating urinary tract infection in some cats.3,4 Finally, a long-term evaluation of the consequences of subcutaneous injection of this long-acting drug is needed to ensure its safety, particularly because the factors associated with injection-site sarcomas are still unknown.

Six R, Cleaver DM, Lindeman CJ, et al. Effectiveness and safety of cefovecin sodium, an extended-spectrum injectable cephalosporin, in the treatment of cats with abscesses and infected wounds. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009;234(1):81-87.

The information in "Research Updates" was provided by Erika Meler, DVM, MS, and Barrak Pressler, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.


1. Lilenbaum W, Nunes EL, Azeredo MA. Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of staphylococci isolated from the skin surface of clinically normal cats. Lett Appl Microbiol 1998;27(4):224-228.

2. Stegemann MR, Sherington J, Passmore C. The efficacy and safety of cefovecin in the treatment of feline abscesses and infected wounds. J Small Anim Pract 2007;48(12):683-689.

3. Stegemann MR, Sherington J, Coati N, et al. Pharmacokinetics of cefovecin in cats. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 2006;29(6):513-524.

4. Passmore CA, Sherington J, Stegemann MR. Efficacy and safety of cefovecin for the treatment of urinary tract infections in cats. J Small Anim Pract 2008;49(6):295-301.


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