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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate a carrageenan-induced inflammatory model in the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) using weight-bearing load, rotational perch locomotion, thermal threshold withdrawal, and footpad dimensions.

ANIMALS

16 adult cockatiels (8 males and 8 females).

PROCEDURES

Cockatiels were randomly assigned into 2 groups as either treatment (carrageenan injection; n = 8) or control (handling only; 8). Treatment of cockatiels involved unilateral subcutaneous injection of 0.05 mL of 1% lambda carrageenan solution into the left footpad. Control birds were handled in a similar manner without an injection. Following baseline measurements and treatment or control procedures, posttreatment measurements at multiple time points involving weight-bearing perch load (for up to 336 hours), locomotive abilities when placed on a rotating perch (for up to 96 hours), thermal withdrawal threshold (for the 24- to 30-hour period), and both vertical and horizontal left footpad size and degree of swelling (for up to 84 days) were obtained.

RESULTS

Treatment cockatiels had a significant decrease in left foot weight-bearing load and increase in left footpad dimensions and swelling grade over time compared to control cockatiels. Rotational perch locomotion and thermal withdrawal threshold, conversely, did not differ significantly between groups. Cockatiels injected with carrageenan returned to normal weight-bearing within 2 weeks; however, left footpad dimensions did not return to baseline.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Carrageenan footpad injection prompts a measurable and grossly visible inflammatory response in the cockatiel. Additionally, it induces alterations in weight-bearing distribution in injected birds. This model provides a method to evaluate inflammation and lameness in small psittacine species.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate behaviors associated with inflammatory pain induced by carrageenan injection in the cockatiel and determine interobserver agreement.

ANIMALS

16 adult cockatiels.

METHODS

Cockatiels were randomly assigned as either treatment (carrageenan injection) or control (sham injection) group. The treatment group received a subcutaneous injection of 0.05 mL of a 1% lambda carrageenan solution into the left footpad. Following treatment or control procedures, all cockatiels were video recorded individually for 9.5 hours. Ten minutes of video at each of 11 time points postinjection and/or handling were evaluated by 3 different observers. Twenty-five behaviors within 6 categories (resting, locomotion, maintenance, intake, interaction with environment, and limb and body posture) were assessed, in addition to crest position and mentation. Differences in individual behaviors tallies were assessed using serial Wilcoxon sum rank tests. Interobserver agreement was assessed using an intraclass correlation coefficient for a 2-way design for consistency among multiple observers.

RESULTS

Treatment cockatiels exhibited significantly increased focal preening (q = .023) and increased burst preening (q = .036), while control cockatiels spent significantly more time in an upright stance (q = .036). Although the remainder of behaviors observed were not statistically significant between groups, additional variables of interest seen more frequently in treatment cockatiels included non–weight-bearing stance, holding of the body low, and being nonvigilant. The level of agreement between observers was variable based on the specific behaviors; nevertheless, the dynamic behaviors were substantial to strong.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Carrageenan-induced inflammation-associated behaviors may be valuable in developing a pain scale and evaluating mild inflammatory pain in small psittacine species.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research