This study investigated the pharmacokinetics of meloxicam, an oxicam class, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in ferrets. The pharmacokinetic properties of a single subcutaneous dose of meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg) in 9 male and 9 female ferrets were determined. Blood samples were collected from ferrets under isoflurane anesthesia by venipuncture of the cranial vena cava into heparinized syringes. Plasma meloxicam concentrations were determined by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Pharmacokinetic variables were calculated using non-linear mixed effects modeling to take advantage of the population-based sampling scheme and to minimize sample volume collected per animal.1
Maximum plasma concentration, volume of distribution per absorption, elimination half-life and systemic clearance per absorption were 0.663 µg/mL, 0.22 L/kg, 11.97 hour and 0.018 L/kg/hour, respectively for females and 0.920 µg/mL, 0.30 L/kg, 17.97 hour and 0.009 L/kg/hour, respectively for males. Significant differences were found in each of the above parameters between male and female ferrets. Analgesic efficacy was not evaluated, however plasma meloxicam concentrations achieved in these animals are considered effective in other species.2 Sex differences in the pharmacokinetic behavior of meloxicam should be considered when treating ferrets.
This work was generously funded by a research grant from the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV).
1. Kukanich, B., D. Huff, J.E. Riviere, and M.G. Papich. 2007. Naive averaged, naive pooled, and population pharmacokinetics of orally administered marbofloxacin in juvenile harbor seals. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 230(3):390–5.
2. Toutain, P.L., N. Reymond, V. Laroute, P. Garcia, M.A. Popot, Y. Bonnaire, A. Hirsch, and R. Narbe. 2004. Pharmacokinetics of meloxicam in plasma and urine of horses. Am. J. Vet. Res. 65, 1542–154.