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  • Author or Editor: Meredith M. Clancy 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 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



To determine the pharmacokinetics of a single bolus of intravenous (IV) propofol after intramuscular administration of etorphine, butorphanol, medetomidine, and azaperone in 5 southern white rhinoceros to facilitate reproductive evaluations. A specific consideration was whether propofol would facilitate timely orotracheal intubation.


5 adult, female, zoo-maintained southern white rhinoceros.


Rhinoceros were administered etorphine (0.002 mg/kg), butorphanol (0.02 to 0.026 mg/kg), medetomidine (0.023 to 0.025 mg/kg), and azaperone (0.014 to 0.017 mg/kg) intramuscularly (IM) prior to an IV dose of propofol (0.5 mg/kg). Physiologic parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and capnography), timed parameters (eg, time to initial effects and intubation), and quality of induction and intubation were recorded following drug administration. Venous blood was collected for analysis of plasma propofol concentrations using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry at various time points after propofol administration.


All animals were approachable following IM drug administration, and orotracheal intubation was achieved at 9.8 ± 2.0 minutes (mean ±SD) following propofol administration. The mean clearance for propofol was 14.2 ± 7.7 ml/min/kg, the mean terminal half-life was 82.4 ± 74.4 minutes, and the maximum concentration occurred at 2.8 ± 2.9 minutes. Two of 5 rhinoceros experienced apnea after propofol administration. Initial hypertension, which improved without intervention, was observed.


This study provides pharmacokinetic data and insight into the effects of propofol in rhinoceros anesthetized using etorphine, butorphanol, medetomidine, and azaperone. While apnea was observed in 2 rhinoceros, propofol administration allowed for rapid control of the airway and facilitated oxygen administration and ventilatory support.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research