Analgesic effects of butorphanol and buprenorphine in conscious African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus and Psittacus erithacus timneh)

Joanne R. Paul-Murphy From the Departments of Surgical Sciences (Paul-Murphy, Brunson) and Comparative Biosciences (Miletic), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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David B. Brunson From the Departments of Surgical Sciences (Paul-Murphy, Brunson) and Comparative Biosciences (Miletic), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Vjekoslav Miletic From the Departments of Surgical Sciences (Paul-Murphy, Brunson) and Comparative Biosciences (Miletic), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate effects of butorphanol tartrate and buprenorphine hydrochloride on withdrawal threshold to a noxious stimulus in conscious African grey parrots.

Animals

29 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus and Psittacus erithacus timneh).

Procedure

Birds were fitted with an electrode on the medial metatarsal region of the right leg, placed into a test box, and allowed to acclimate. An electrical stimulus (range, 0.0 to 1.46 mA) was delivered to each bird’s foot through an aluminum perch. A withdrawal response was recorded when the bird lifted its foot from the perch or vigorously flinched its wings. Baseline threshold to a noxious electrical stimulus was determined. Birds then were randomly assigned to receive an IM injection of saline (0.9% NaCI) solution, butorphanol (1.0 mg/kg of body weight), or buprenorphine (0.1 mg/kg), and threshold values were determined again.

Results

Butorphanol significantly increased threshold value, but saline solution or buprenorphine did not significantly change threshold values.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Butorphanol had an analgesic effect, significantly increasing the threshold to electrical stimuli in African grey parrots. Buprenorphine at the dosage used did not change the threshold to electrical stimulus. Butorphanol provided an analgesic response in half of the birds tested. Butorphanol would be expected to provide analgesia to African grey parrots in a clinical setting. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1218–1221)

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate effects of butorphanol tartrate and buprenorphine hydrochloride on withdrawal threshold to a noxious stimulus in conscious African grey parrots.

Animals

29 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus and Psittacus erithacus timneh).

Procedure

Birds were fitted with an electrode on the medial metatarsal region of the right leg, placed into a test box, and allowed to acclimate. An electrical stimulus (range, 0.0 to 1.46 mA) was delivered to each bird’s foot through an aluminum perch. A withdrawal response was recorded when the bird lifted its foot from the perch or vigorously flinched its wings. Baseline threshold to a noxious electrical stimulus was determined. Birds then were randomly assigned to receive an IM injection of saline (0.9% NaCI) solution, butorphanol (1.0 mg/kg of body weight), or buprenorphine (0.1 mg/kg), and threshold values were determined again.

Results

Butorphanol significantly increased threshold value, but saline solution or buprenorphine did not significantly change threshold values.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Butorphanol had an analgesic effect, significantly increasing the threshold to electrical stimuli in African grey parrots. Buprenorphine at the dosage used did not change the threshold to electrical stimulus. Butorphanol provided an analgesic response in half of the birds tested. Butorphanol would be expected to provide analgesia to African grey parrots in a clinical setting. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1218–1221)

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