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  • Author or Editor: Bridget B. Baker x
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Objective—To determine the dose- and time-dependent changes in analgesia and respiration caused by tramadol administration in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta).

Design—Crossover study.

Animals—30 adult male and female red-eared slider turtles.

Procedures—11 turtles received tramadol at various doses (1, 5, 10, or 25 mg/kg [0.45, 2.27, 4.54, or 11.36 mg/lb], PO; 10 or 25 mg/kg, SC) or a control treatment administered similarly. Degree of analgesia was assessed through measurement of hind limb thermal withdrawal latencies (TWDLs) at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after tramadol administration. Nineteen other freely swimming turtles received tramadol PO (5, 10, or 25 mg/kg), and ventilation (VE), breath frequency, tidal volume (VT), and expiratory breath duration were measured.

Results—The highest tramadol doses (10 and 25 mg/kg, PO) yielded greater mean TWDLs 6 to 96 hours after administration than the control treatment did, whereas tramadol administered at 5 mg/kg, PO, yielded greater mean TWDLs at 12 and 24 hours. The lowest tramadol dose (1 mg/kg, PO) failed to result in analgesia. Tramadol administered SC resulted in lower TWDLs, slower onset, and shorter duration of action, compared with PO administration. Tramadol at 10 and 25 mg/kg, PO, reduced the VE at 12 hours by 51% and 67%, respectively, and at 24 through 72 hours by 55% to 62% and 61 % to 70%, respectively. However, tramadol at 5 mg/kg, PO, had no effect on the VE.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tramadol administered PO at 5 to 10 mg/kg provided thermal analgesia with less respiratory depression than that reported for morphine in red-eared slider turtles.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify pain-related behaviors and assess the effects of butorphanol tartrate and morphine sulfate in koi (Cyprinus carpio) undergoing unilateral gonadectomy.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—90 adult male and female koi.

Procedures—Each fish received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (which is physiologically compatible with fish) IM, butorphanol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], IM), or morphine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], IM) as an injection only (6 fish/treatment); an injection with anesthesia and surgery (12 fish/treatment); or an injection with anesthesia but without surgery (12 fish/treatment). Physiologic and behavioral data were recorded 12 hours before and at intervals after treatment.

Results—Compared with baseline values, the saline solution–surgery group had significantly decreased respiratory rates (at 12 to 24 hours), food consumption assessed as a percentage of floating pellets consumed (at 0 to 36 hours), and activity score (at 0 to 48 hours). Respiratory rate decreased in all butorphanol-treated fish; significant decreases were detected at fewer time points following morphine administration. In the butorphanol-surgery group, the value for food consumption initially decreased but returned to baseline values within 3 hours after treatment; food consumption did not change in the morphine-surgery group. Surgery resulted in decreased activity, regardless of treatment, with the most pronounced effect in the saline solution–surgery group. Changes in location in water column, interactive behavior, and hiding behavior were not significantly different among groups. Butorphanol and morphine administration was associated with temporary buoyancy problems and temporary bouts of excessive activity, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Butorphanol and morphine appeared to have an analgesic effect in koi, but morphine administration caused fewer deleterious adverse effects. Food consumption appeared to be a reliable indicator of pain in koi.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association