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Abstract

Objective—To assess the analgesic effects of 2 doses of meloxicam on the degree of postoperative orthopedic pain in pigeons.

Animals—21 domestic pigeons (Columba livia).

Procedures—In each bird, a standardized osteotomy of 1 femur was performed and the fracture was immobilized with an intramedullary pin. Birds were randomly allocated to receive saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control) or meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg [low dose] or 2.0 mg/kg [high dose]). The first treatment was administered IM after surgery was completed. Subsequent treatments were administered PO every 12 hours for 9 days. Degree of postoperative pain was assessed for the first 4 days after surgery by use of 3 methods: an electronic perch for assessment of weight-bearing load differential of the pelvic limbs, 4 pain scales, and analysis of video-recorded partial ethograms for bird activity and posture.

Results—No significant differences were observed between the control group and the low-dose meloxicam group in any tested variable. The high-dose meloxicam group had a greater degree of weight bearing on the affected limb from the second to the fourth postoperative day as well as lower pain scores for at least the first 2 postoperative days, compared with the other groups. Return to presurgical behavior was achieved faster in pigeons that received high-dose meloxicam than in the other groups. No adverse effects were observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of meloxicam at 0.5 mg/kg appeared ineffective in minimizing postoperative orthopedic pain in pigeons, but the 2.0 mg/kg dose provided quantifiable analgesia that appeared safe in this species in experimental conditions.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—A 6-year-old spayed female domestic ferret was evaluated because of lethargy, alopecia, pruritus, and an abdominal mass.

Clinical Findings—On initial examination, nonregenerative anemia, mild azotemia, and a large left adrenal gland mass were identified. However, deterioration of the ferret's general condition prevented excision of the mass, and dyspnea, weakness, hypertension, and severe hypokalemia developed. Plasma aldosterone concentration was > 3,329 pmol/L, confirming a provisional diagnosis of hyperaldosteronism. High concentrations of sex hormones were also observed, but baseline cortisol concentration was within reference limits.

Treatment and Outcome—Medical treatment included oral administration of spironolactone, potassium gluconate, leuprolide acetate, amlodipine, and benazepril. Inhalation of albuterol proved effective in reducing the dyspnea. In the following weeks, serum potassium concentration returned to within reference limits and hypertension decreased, but dyspnea persisted. Two months after initial examination, the ferret became anorectic and was euthanized. Histologic examination revealed a large left adrenal gland adenoma, progressive chronic nephropathy, severe pulmonary edema, and focal fibrosis in the left ventricle. Immunohistochemical staining of the adrenal gland mass revealed aldosterone within neoplastic adrenocortical cells.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that primary hyperaldosteronism should be considered as a possible cause in ferrets with hypokalemia, hypertension, and an adrenal gland mass. Early detection of aldosterone-secreting masses might allow for removal of the tumor before irreversible complications occur.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify characteristics of antebrachial fractures associated with a successful outcome (ie, bird released back into the wild after regaining normal flight ability, without being returned to the rehabilitation program within 1 month afterward) for free-ranging birds of prey admitted to a rehabilitation program.

ANIMALS

620 birds of prey (representing 24 species) with antebrachial fractures admitted alive to a rehabilitation program from August 1986 through December 2015.

PROCEDURES

The medical record of each bird was reviewed to obtain information on species, age, sex, year of admission, fracture characteristics, and treatments administered. Outcome was classified as successful or unsuccessful on the basis of available data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify fracture characteristics associated with outcome.

RESULTS

519 of 620 (84%) birds received treatment, and a successful outcome was recorded for 245 (47%) treated birds. Birds with closed (vs open) fractures were significantly more likely to have a successful outcome. Birds with concomitant radial and ulnar fractures involving the same third of the antebrachium (vs other types of antebrachial fractures) were significantly less likely to have a successful outcome, although birds with this type of fracture were significantly more likely to have a successful outcome when the fracture was localized to the middle or distal (vs proximal) third of the antebrachium.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The characteristics of antebrachial fractures associated with a successful or unsuccessful outcome in this study may be useful in the development of triage protocols for birds of prey in other rehabilitation centers.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To validate a model of postfracture pain in perching birds.

Animals—21 adult domestic pigeons (Columba livia).

Procedures—In each bird, a standardized osteotomy of 1 femur was performed and the fracture was immobilized with an intramedullary pin. Degree of postoperative pain was evaluated 6 times/d for 4 days by use of 3 methods: an electronic perch for assessment of weight-bearing load differential of the pelvic limbs, 4 numeric rating pain scales for assessment of pain (all of which involved the observer in the same room as the bird), and analysis of video-recorded (observer absent) partial ethograms for bird activity and posture. Measurements obtained were compared with data collected before the surgery to evaluate the ability of these methods to detect pain.

Results—The weight-bearing load differential was a sensitive, specific, reliable, and indirect measure of fracture-associated pain in the model used. Two of 4 tested pain scales (fractured limb position and subjective evaluation of degree of pain) were sensitive and specific for detecting pain and were reliable in a research setting. Interobserver reliability of the 4 pain scales was excellent. Partial ethograms were sensitive for identifying pain-associated behavior in pigeons, particularly during the first 2 days after surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The fracture pain model was reliable and reproducible and may be useful for experimental studies involving postsurgical pain in pigeons. Weight-bearing load differential was the most sensitive and specific means of determining degree of pain in pigeons during the first 4 days after hind limb fracture induction.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the relationship between end-tidal partial pressure of CO2 (ETCO2) and PaCO2 in isoflurane-anesthetized harp seals.

Animals—Three 5-month-old 25- to 47-kg harp seals (Phoca groenlandica).

Procedures—PaCO2 was determined in serial arterial samples from isoflurane-anesthetized seals and compared with concomitant ETCO2 measured with a side-stream microstream capnograph. Twenty-four paired samples were subjected to linear regression analysis and the Bland-Altman method for assessment of clinical suitability of the 2 methods (ie, PaCO2 and ETCO2 determinations). The influence of ventilation rate per minute (VR) on the ETCO2 to PaCO2 difference (P[ET-a] CO2) was examined graphically.

Results—The correlation coefficient between the 2 measurements was 0.94. The level of agreement between ETCO2 and PaCO2 varied considerably. Values of ETCO2 obtained with a VR of < 5 underestimated PaCO2 to a greater degree (mean bias, −4.01 mm Hg) and had wider limits of agreement of −13.10 to 5.07 mm Hg (−4.01 mm Hg ± 1.96 SD), compared with a VR of ≥ 5 (mean bias, −2.24 mm Hg; limits of agreement, −7.79 to 3.30 mm Hg).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results indicate that a microstream sidestream capnograph provides a noninvasive, sufficiently accurate estimation of PaCO2 with intermittent positive ventilation at a VR ≥ 5 in anesthetized harp seals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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.

ANIMALS

6 adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus).

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

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