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Drug dose and animal welfare: important considerations in the treatment of wildlife

Mounsey, K, Harvey, RJ, Wilkinson, V, Takano, K, Old, J, Stannard, H, Wicker, L, Phalen, D and Carver, S ORCID: 0000-0002-3579-7588 2022 , 'Drug dose and animal welfare: important considerations in the treatment of wildlife' , Parasitology Research, vol. 121 , pp. 1065-1071 , doi: 10.1007/s00436-022-07460-4.

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A recent article published in Parasitology Research describes the use of high-dose moxidectin (Cydectin®) by wildlife carers for the treatment of sarcoptic mange in bare-nose wombats (Vombatus ursinus). We provide additional perspectives on this topic, including consideration of the pharmacokinetics, mode of action and efficacy of moxidectin. The volumes of moxidectin applied by some carers exceeded the manufacturer recommended dose by up to 100-fold, although there appeared to be no association between dose and clinical efficacy. The safety of these extremely high doses has not been scientifically evaluated and we raise concerns regarding the potential for severe adverse events that may be undetected in free-living animals. The inadvertent spillage of large volumes of pour-on acaricides may also have ecotoxic impacts. Reports of treatment failure prompting the perceived need for higher doses are also concerning. The causal factors behind treatment failures should be investigated as a matter of priority, as it is possible that moxidectin resistance is emerging in Sarcoptes scabiei mites infesting wombats. We welcome the insights of individuals actively engaged in the treatment of this debilitating disease of wombats and encourage further discourse, reflecting both the lived experience and evidence-based practice.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mounsey, K and Harvey, RJ and Wilkinson, V and Takano, K and Old, J and Stannard, H and Wicker, L and Phalen, D and Carver, S
Keywords: epidemiology
Journal or Publication Title: Parasitology Research
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISSN: 0932-0113
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00436-022-07460-4
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022, corrected publication 2022

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