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  • Author or Editor: John M. Sykes IV x
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OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics of butorphanol delivered via osmotic pumps in common peafowl (Pavo cristatus) as a method for analgesic administration to avian species.

ANIMALS 14 healthy adult male common peafowl.

PROCEDURES A preliminary experiment was conducted with 2 birds to establish time point and concentration requirements. Then, the remaining 12 birds were anesthetized, and 2 osmotic pumps containing butorphanol (volume, 2 mL; mean dosage, 247 μg/kg/h) were implanted subcutaneously in each bird for 7 days prior to removal. Blood samples were collected before pump implantation (time 0); 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, and 168 hours after pump implantation; and 3 and 6 hours after pump removal. Plasma butorphanol concentrations were measured via liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry.

RESULTS Plasma concentrations peaked (mean, 106.4 μg/L; range, 61.8 to 133.0 μg/L) at a mean of 39.0 hours, with no evidence of sedation in any bird. After pump removal, butorphanol was rapidly eliminated (half-life, 1.45 hours; range, 1.31 to 1.64 hours; n = 5). Mean clearance per fraction of dose absorbed was 2.89 L/kg/h (range, 2.00 to 5.55 L/kg/h). Mean amount of time the plasma butorphanol concentration was ≥ 60 μg/L was 85.6 hours (range, 3.5 to 155.3 hours).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Plasma concentrations of butorphanol in common peafowl were maintained at or above reported efficacious analgesic concentrations. This study established a method for administering analgesics to avian patients without the need for frequent handling or injections. Use of these osmotic pumps may provide options for avian analgesia.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the reliability of an SC implanted osmotic pump (OP) for fentanyl administration in cats and to compare serum concentrations of fentanyl delivered via an OP and a transdermal patch (TP).

Animals—8 spayed female cats.

Procedures—In a crossover design, cats received fentanyl at 25 μg/h via a TP or an OP. All cats were anesthetized for the pump or patch placement (0 hours) and again when it was removed (96 hours). Venous blood samples were collected for measurement of serum fentanyl concentrations at 0, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, and 96 hours and at 24 and 48 hours after device removal. After a 3-week washout period, the experiment was repeated with each cat receiving the other treatment.

Results—Mean serum fentanyl concentrations at 24, 36, 72, and 96 hours were greater when the OP was used than when the TP was used. Mean residence time and half-life were greater when the TP was used. Fentanyl concentration changed significantly faster in initial and elimination phases when the OP was used. Marked interindividual variation in serum fentanyl concentrations was evident with both administration methods. No adverse effects were evident with either method.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of the OP to administer fentanyl to cats resulted in a shorter initial lag phase to a therapeutic serum concentration, higher bioavailability, and faster elimination after removal, compared with use of a TP. These advantages, in addition to the inability of cats to remove the OP, may make OPs useful for fentanyl administration in nondomestic felids.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To identify important subspecies and serovars of Salmonella enterica in a captive reptile population and clinically relevant risk factors for and signs of illness in Salmonella-positive reptiles.

DESIGN Retrospective cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS 11 crocodilians (4 samples), 78 snakes (91 samples), 59 lizards (57 samples), and 34 chelonians (23 samples) at the Bronx Zoo from 2000 through 2012.

PROCEDURES Data pertaining to various types of biological samples obtained from reptiles with positive Salmonella culture results and the reptiles themselves were analyzed to determine period prevalence of and risk factors for various Salmonella-related outcomes.

RESULTS Serovar distribution differences were identified for sample type, reptile phylogenetic family, and reptile origin and health. Salmonella enterica subsp enterica was the most common subspecies in Salmonella cultures (78/175 [45%]), identified across all reptilian taxa. Salmonella enterica subsp diarizonae was also common (42/175 [24%]) and was recovered almost exclusively from snakes (n = 33), many of which had been clinically ill (17). Clinically ill reptiles provided 37% (64) of Salmonella cultures. Factors associated with an increased risk of illness in reptiles with a positive culture result were carnivorous diet and prior confiscation. Snakes had a higher risk of illness than other reptile groups, whereas lizards had a lower risk. Bony changes, dermatitis, and anorexia were the most common clinical signs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided new information on Salmonella infection or carriage and associated clinical disease in reptiles. Associations identified between serovars or subspecies and reptile groups or clinical disease can guide management of Salmonella-positive captive reptiles.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association