Selected Antimicrobial Information – Farm Animal

Erythromycin [Farm Animal]

Restriction Status



Species Usage Dose
Camelids Label dose No labeled dose.
Cattle Label dose (for bovine respiratory disease) 8.8mg/kg IM q24h for up to 5d; do not give more than 10mL per injection site or 4mL per site in calves
For pro-motility effects 8.8 mg/kg IV (extra-label use)
Small Ruminants Label dose No labeled dose.
Swine Label dose No labeled dose.

Brand Name(s)

Erythrocin Lactobionate, etc.


Erythromycin is a concentration-dependent, primarily bacteriostatic macrolide antibiotic. It may be bactericidal at high concentrations. Erythromycin is active against Gram-positive aerobes. There is also efficacy against non-enteric Gram-negatives such as Actinobacillus spp. and Pasteurella spp., and anaerobes such as Clostridium spp. and Fusobacterium spp. Distribution is wide, though it penetration of abscesses, sites of tissue necrosis, and the CNS is poor. Excretion is primarily in bile.

Current Uses within OSU-VMC

  • Treatment of bovine respiratory disease associated with susceptible Pasteurella multocida isolates.

Contraindicated Uses

  • Treatment of abscesses or sites of tissue necrosis.
  • Not approved for use in lactating dairy cattle (>20 months of age) or calves to be processed for veal.

Illegal Uses

  • None

Formulations Available within the OSU Pharmacy

  • Erythromycin 500mg/10ml injectable suspension


  • Erythromycin is commonly used as a prokinetic agent to stimulate abomasal emptying and GI motility.
  • IM administration is painful and not recommended.


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OSU VMC Antimicrobial Use Guidelines Copyright © 2018 by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.