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  • Author or Editor: Jan C. Ramer x
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To compare, in psittacines, the mydriatic effects of several topically applied curariform, sympathomimetic, and parasympatholytic drugs with and without the addition of surface-acting penetrating agents.


Prospective, randomized controlled trial.


10 adult cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea subspecies), 2 adult African gray parrots (Psittacus erithacus), and 3 adult Blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aesiiva).


Three curariform drugs (d-tubocurarine, pancuronium, and vecuronium bromide) and 2 autonomic drugs (atropine and phenylephrine hydrochloride) were evaluated. Drugs were tested with and without the addition of a surface-acting penetrating agent, either saponin or benzalkonium chloride. The agent that resulted in the most significant change in pupillary diameter with the fewest systemic side effects in the cockatoos then was evaluated for its effects in the African gray parrots and the Blue-fronted Amazon parrots. During each drug trial, 1 eye was randomly selected to receive the control drug (0.9% NaCI), and the opposite eye was selected to receive the test drug. Each pupil was videotaped 5 (cockatoos only), 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 minutes after treatment. Pupil diameters were measured by use of a computerized image analysis system. Data for pupil size were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA.


Vecuronium without the addition of a surface-acting penetrating agent produced the most consistent and greatest pupillary dilatation in all 3 species with the fewest systemic side effects.

Clinical Implications—

Vecuronium is potentially a clinically useful, topical mydriatic agent for use in avian species. Documented differences in the prevalence of systemic side effects between species suggests that caution should be applied when applying this drug bilaterally. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:227-230)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


The carotid artery of clinically normal goats was examined, using duplex ultrasonography and arteriography. The diameter of the carotid artery was measured by use of two-dimensional ultrasonography and Doppler ultrasonography, respectively, before and after xylazine administration. The diameter of the artery was also measured by use of an arteriography technique in halothaneanesthetized goats. There was no significant difference between the mean diameter of the carotid artery measured by ultrasonography in conscious nonsedated goats and that determined by arteriography in goats under halothane anesthesia. On the other hand, ultrasonography of xylazine-sedated goats revealed an increase of carotid artery diameter of 20 to 30%. There was no change in the velocity of blood flow after xylazine administration.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effect of oral administration of melatonin on clinical signs, tumor size, and serum steroid hormone concentrations in ferrets with adrenocortical disease.

Design—Noncontrolled clinical trial.

Animals—10 adult ferrets with clinical signs of adrenocortical disease (confirmed via serum steroid hormone concentration assessments).

Procedures—Melatonin (0.5 mg) was administered orally to ferrets once daily for 1 year. At 4-month intervals, a complete physical examination; abdominal ultrasonographic examination (including adrenal gland measurement); CBC; serum biochemical analyses; and assessment of serum estradiol, androstenedione, and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations were performed. Serum prolactin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations were evaluated at the first, second, and last examinations, and serum cortisol concentration was evaluated at the first and last examinations.

Results—Daily oral administration of melatonin greatly affected clinical signs of adrenocortical disease in ferrets; changes included hair regrowth, decreased pruritus, increased activity level and appetite, and decreased vulva or prostate size. Mean width of the abnormally large adrenal glands was significantly increased after the 12-month treatment period. Recurrence of clinical signs was detected in 6 ferrets at the 8-month evaluation. Compared with pretreatment values, serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone and prolactin concentrations were significantly increased and decreased after 12 months, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that melatonin is a useful, easily administered, palliative treatment to decrease clinical signs associated with adrenocortical disease in ferrets, and positive effects of daily treatment were evident for at least an 8-month period. Oral administration of melatonin did not decrease adrenal gland tumor growth in treated ferrets.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association