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OBJECTIVE: To determine the pharmacokinetics of a single oral dose of trazodone and its effect on the activity of domestic pigeons (Columba livia).

ANIMALS: 6 healthy adult male domestic pigeons.

PROCEDURES: During the first of 3 experiments, birds received orally administered trazodone at doses ranging from 3 to 30 mg/kg to determine the dose for subsequent experiments. During the second experiment, each bird received 1 dose of trazodone (30 mg/kg, PO). Blood was collected for determination of plasma trazodone concentration before and at predetermined times for 24 hours after drug administration. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by noncompartmental analysis. During experiment 3, birds were instrumented with ultralightweight accelerometers and received orally administered trazodone (30 mg/kg) or an equal volume of water twice at a 48-hour interval. Activity of birds was monitored for 24 hours after administration of each treatment.

RESULTS: No adverse effects were observed. Mean ± SD terminal half-life of trazodone was 5.65 ± 1.75 hours. Plasma trazodone concentrations remained > 0.130 μg/mL for approximately 20 hours. Trazodone did not affect the activity of birds during the first 2 and 15 hours after administration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that oral administration of 1 dose (30 mg/kg) of trazodone to healthy pigeons was safe and resulted in plasma drug concentrations that were similar to those considered therapeutic in humans and dogs for up to 20 hours. Further research is necessary to characterize the pharmacokinetics for repeated doses as well as the clinical effects of trazodone in birds with behavior problems.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess the use of a caudal external thoracic artery axial pattern flap to treat sternal cutaneous wounds in birds.

Animals—16 adult Japanese quail.

Procedure—A cutaneous defect in the region of the mid-sternum was surgically created in all quail. In 6 quail (group I), an axial pattern flap was created from the skin of the lateral aspect of the thorax and advanced over the sternal defect. In 8 quail (group II), a flap was similarly created and advanced but the flap vasculature was ligated. All quail were euthanatized at 14 days after surgery and had necropsies performed. Sections of the flap and the surrounding tissue were examined histologically to assess flap viability.

Results—All axial pattern flaps in group-I quail had 100% survival. In group II, mean percentage area of flap survival was 62.5%; mean area of necrosis and dermal fibrosis of flaps were significantly greater than that detected in group I. In flaps of group-II quail, neovascularization in the deep dermis and profound necrosis of the vascular plexus in the superficial dermis were observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the caudal external thoracic artery axial pattern flap could be used successfully in the treatment of surgically created sternal cutaneous defects in quail with no signs of tissue necrosis or adverse effects overall. Use of this technique to treat selfmutilation syndromes or application after surgical debulking of tumors or other masses might be beneficial in many avian species. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:497–502)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine if plasma concentrations of symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), GGT, ALT, AST, lactate, total calcium, and ionized calcium (iCa) and the calcium:phosphorus ratio are clinically relevant biomarkers to detect early stages of tubular lesions in snakes.


6 adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus).


Corn snakes were administered 11 injections of gentamicin at 50 mg/kg, SC, q 24 h in an experimental model of induced tubular necrosis. Plasma biochemistry and blood gas analyses were performed at baseline and after the 3rd and 11th injections. Parameters were compared between time points using a paired Wilcoxon test. In 3 individuals, renal biopsies were collected at baseline before starting injections and at the 3rd and 11th injections, while renal tissue samples were procured after euthanasia in all individuals.


Renal proximal and distal tubular necrosis and hepatic steatosis were present in all individuals at necropsy. Compared to baseline, decreased blood concentrations of lactate, ionized calcium, and total calcium and a decreased calcium:phosphorus ratio were noted. A significant decrease of lactate and ionized calcium was observed after 3 days. Conversely, no changes in SDMA, NAG, ALT, AST, GGT, and sodium were detected.


Ionized calcium and lactate concentrations were the earliest parameters to decrease compared to baseline values in this experimental model. While SDMA is a sensitive indicator of renal disease in mammals, this biomarker did not increase in a model of induced acute tubular necrosis in corn snakes.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research