Erythromycin and other macrolide antibiotics for treating Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals

Jeffrey Lakritz, William D Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Erythromycin has been used for treating pyogranulomatous inflammation associated with Rhodococcus equi in foals for approximately 20 years. Several studies suggest that improvement in the outcome and performance of horses surviving R. equi pneumonia can be attributed to the use of erythromycin alone or in combination with rifampin. Although there are no formulations approved for use in horses, there are a number of generic formulations available to veterinarians. These formulations are not equivalent, and some should not be used in foals based on pharmacokinetics observed after oral administration. In addition, the use of erythromycin has been associated with transient diarrhea, hyperthermia, and worsening of respiratory disease in some foals as well as colitis in mares of foals treated with erythromycin. In addition to prescribing formulations that provide high serum concentrations of active drug, veterinarians should also council animal handlers about potential adverse reactions in foals treated with erythromycin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-261
Number of pages6
JournalCompendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


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