Ceftiofur sodium was evaluated as a therapy for respiratory infections in horses. This cephalosporin antimicrobial was administered intramuscularly every 24 h and at a dose of 2.2 mg/kg (1.0 mg/lb) of body weight. The efficacy of ceftiofur sodium was compared with that of a positive control drug, ampicillin sodium (recommended dose of 6.6 mg/kg [3 mg/lb], given every 12 h). Both treatments were continued for 48 h after clinical symptoms were no longer evident (maximum of 10 days). Fifty-five (55) horses with naturally acquired respiratory infections were included in the study; 28 were treated with ceftiofur and 27 with ampicillin. Clinical improvement was recorded for 92.9% of the patients treated with ceftiofur and 92.6% of the animals receiving ampicillin. Both therapies reduced body temperatures to an afebrile level after 2 days of treatment. Complete recovery/cure was noted for 78.6% of the ceftiofur patients and 59.3% of the horses treated with ampicillin. Supporting variables (depression/malaise, respiration/dyspnoea, nasal discharge) were assessed and these also substantiated the effectiveness of the treatments. Both antibiotics were well tolerated. Neither pain nor swelling were noted at the ceftiofur injection site(s). None of the animals developed diarrhoea. Data from this study indicated that ceftiofur sodium is an effective and safe treatment for respiratory infections in horses.