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To determine the thermal antinociceptive effects of butorphanol tartrate and butorphanol tartrate in a sustained-release 25% poloxamer 407 (P407) gel formulation (But-P407) in parrots.


13 orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).


First, butorphanol tartrate (5 mg/kg) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was administered IM to birds in a randomized complete crossover design. The temperature prompting a foot withdrawal response to a thermal stimulus (ie, the thermal threshold) was determined 30 minutes before (baseline) and at various points after treatment administration. Second, But-P407 (12.5 mg/kg) or P407 was administered SC in a similar crossover design. Thermal threshold was determined before and at various points after treatment administration. Third, But-P407 (12.5 mg/kg) or saline solution was administered SC and evaluated as in the second trial. Sedation was scored immediately before each time point in all 3 trials.


In the first trial, a significant increase in thermal threshold was noted 30 minutes after butorphanol tartrate (vs saline solution) administration. No sedation was noted. In the second and third trials, no significant difference was identified between results for But-P407 and those for either control treatment (saline solution or P407). Mild sedation was noted in the second trial following But-P407 administration.


Results suggested a small but significant thermal antinociceptive effect of butorphanol tartrate lasting between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours in orange-winged Amazon parrots. No antinociceptive effect of butorphanol tartrate was demonstrated when delivered in P407. Further research is needed to evaluate the potential analgesic effects of But-P407.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics of butorphanol tartrate incorporated into poloxamer 407 (P407) after SC administration to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

ANIMALS 11 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (6 males and 5 females; 11 to 27 years old).

PROCEDURES A sterile formulation of butorphanol in P407 (But-P407) 25% (percentage determined as [weight of P407/weight of diluent] × 100]) was created (8.3 mg/mL). Five preliminary experiments (2 birds/experiment) were performed to determine the ideal dose for this species. The formulation then was administered (12.5 mg/kg, SC) to 8 birds. Blood samples were collected before (time 0) and 0.08, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours after drug administration. Some birds were used more than once, with a washout period of ≥ 3 months between subsequent treatments. Butorphanol concentrations were quantitated by use of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed by use of noncompartmental analysis.

RESULTS Maximal plasma butorphanol concentration was reached at 1.31 hours. Plasma concentrations of butorphanol remained > 100 ng/mL for > 3 hours (all birds) or > 4 hours (5/8 birds) but < 8 hours (all birds). Half-life of the terminal slope was 3.41 hours. No adverse effects were detected.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Butorphanol was absorbed well from the But-P407 25% by Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and absorption followed a pharmacokinetic profile compatible with a sustained-release drug. A dose of 12.5 mg/kg, SC, would theoretically provide analgesia for 4 to 8 hours. No adverse effects were detected. Studies on the pharmacodynamics of this formulation are necessary to confirm the degree and duration of analgesia.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To assess rheological properties and in vitro diffusion of poloxamer 407 (P407) and butorphanol-P407 (But-P407) hydrogels and to develop a sustained-release opioid formulation for use in birds.

SAMPLE P407 powder and a commercially available injectable butorphanol tartrate formulation (10 mg/mL).

PROCEDURES P407 and But-P407 gels were compounded by adding water or butorphanol to P407 powder. Effects of various concentrations of P407 (20%, 25% and 30% [{weight of P407/weight of diluent} × 100]), addition of butorphanol, and sterilization through a microfilter on rheological properties of P407 were measured by use of a rheometer. In vitro diffusion of butorphanol from But-P407 25% through a biological membrane was compared with that of a butorphanol solution.

RESULTS P407 20% and 25% formulations were easily compounded, whereas it was difficult to obtain a homogenous P407 30% formulation. The P407 was a gel at avian body temperature, although its viscosity was lower than that at mammalian body temperature. The But-P407 25% formulation (butorphanol concentration, 8.3 mg/mL) was used for subsequent experiments. Addition of butorphanol to P407 as well as microfiltration did not significantly affect viscosity. Butorphanol diffused in vitro from But-P407, and its diffusion was slower than that from a butorphanol solution.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE But-P407 25% had in vitro characteristics that would make it a good candidate for use as a sustained-release analgesic medication. Further studies are needed to characterize the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of But-P407 25% in vivo before it can be recommended for use in birds.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects of IV diphenhydramine hydrochloride administration on cardiorespiratory variables in anesthetized dogs undergoing mast cell tumor (MCT) excision.

DESIGN Randomized, blinded clinical trial.

ANIMALS 16 client-owned dogs with MCTs.

PROCEDURES In a standardized isoflurane anesthesia session that included mechanical ventilation, dogs received diphenhydramine hydrochloride (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], IV; n = 8) or an equivalent volume of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (IV; control treatment; 8) 10 minutes after induction. Cardiorespiratory variables were recorded throughout anesthesia and MCT excision, and blood samples for determination of plasma diphenhydramine and histamine concentrations were collected prior to premedication (baseline), throughout anesthesia, and 2 hours after extubation.

RESULTS Cardiorespiratory values in both treatment groups were acceptable for anesthetized dogs. Mean ± SD diastolic arterial blood pressure was significantly lower in the diphenhydramine versus control group during tumor dissection (52 ± 10 mm Hg vs 62 ± 9 mm Hg) and surgical closure (51 ± 10 mm Hg vs 65 ± 9 mm Hg). Mean arterial blood pressure was significantly lower in the diphenhydramine versus control group during surgical closure (65 ± 12 mm Hg vs 78 ± 11 mm Hg), despite a higher cardiac index value. Plasma histamine concentrations were nonsignificantly higher than baseline during maximal manipulation of the tumor and surgical preparation in the diphenhydramine group and during surgical dissection in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE IV administration of diphenhydramine prior to MCT excision had no clear clinical cardiorespiratory benefits over placebo in isoflurane-anesthetized dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association