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Analgesic effects of meloxicam administration on postoperative orthopedic pain in domestic pigeons (Columba livia)
- Desmarchelier, Marion, Troncy, Eric, Fitzgerald, Guy, Lair, Stephane
- American journal of veterinary research 2012 v.73 no.3 pp. 361-367
- Columba livia, adverse effects, analgesia, analgesic effect, femur, meloxicam, orthopedics, osteotomy, pain, perch, pigeons, posture, sodium chloride
- 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.