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Analgesic effects of intramuscular administration of meloxicam in Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) with experimentally induced arthritis

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  • 1 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 3 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 4 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 5 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 6 Department of Statistics, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 7 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam in parrots with experimentally induced arthritis, with extent of weight bearing and rotational perch walking used as outcome measures.

Animals—15 adult Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Procedures—Arthritis was experimentally induced via intra-articular injection of microcrystalline sodium urate suspension (MSU) into 1 intertarsal joint. Parrots were treated in a crossover design. Five treatments were compared as follows: meloxicam (4 dosages) at 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg (IM, q 12 h, 3 times) and 0.03 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (IM, q 12 h, 3 times). The first treatment was given 6 hours following MSU administration. Lameness was assessed by use of a biomechanical perch to record weight-bearing load and a rotational perch to determine dexterity. Feces were collected to assay for occult blood.

Results—Parrots treated with meloxicam at 1.0 mg/kg had significantly better return to normal (baseline) weight bearing on the arthritic pelvic limb, compared with control parrots or parrots treated with meloxicam at 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/kg. All fecal samples collected from parrots following induction of arthritis and treatment with meloxicam had negative results for occult blood.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Meloxicam administered at 1.0 mg/kg, IM, every 12 hours effectively relieved arthritic pain in parrots.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Paul-Murphy's present address is Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Presented in abstract form at the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference, Los Angeles, October 2008.

Supported by the Morris Animal Foundation (grant No. D08ZO-086).

The authors thank Brian Higby for engineering the rotating perch apparatus and Claudia Hirsch for assistance with animal care.

Address correspondence to Dr. Paul-Murphy (paulmurphy@ucdavis.edu).