Analgesic Effects of Meloxicam for Experimentally Induced Arthritic Pain in Hispaniolan Parrots (Amazona ventralis)
A partial crossover study was performed to determine the analgesic efficacy of IM meloxicam in Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis) (n=16) using sodium urate monoarthritis as a model of tonic pain. Four dosages (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg) of meloxicam IM and a saline control were evaluated using two quantification methods of lameness: 1) simultaneous weight-bearing of affected and unaffected limbs and 2) period of time bird was able to walk on a motorized perch that rotates with stepwise increase in rotations per minute every 10 seconds.
Following administration of 8% sodium urate solution (0.1 ml) into the tarso-metatarsal joint of the bird’s unbanded leg, each bird received saline (0.03 ml) or meloxicam 6 hours following the intra-articular injection, then every 12 hours until lameness resolved. This treatment interval was designed to mimic the treatment of a chronic inflammatory condition. The parrots were observed at 0, 4, 6, 8, 12, 18, 26, 30, 32, and 38 hours post induction of arthritis. The testing was repeated on each bird using a different treatment, either the saline control or a different dosage of meloxicam. Each bird received a minimum 2-week interval between testing periods. The highest dose of meloxicam evaluated (1.0 mg/kg IM every 12 hours) provided statistically significant improvement in weight-bearing and walking function than the lower doses when compared over all time points in the study. These findings indicated that intramuscular injection of 1.0 mg/kg meloxicam every 12 hours has a positive clinical effect on relieving arthritic pain in the parrot.