Assessment of the Analgesic Effects of Meloxicam on Postoperative Pain in Pigeons (Colombia livia)
The objective was to evaluate postoperative analgesic efficacy of meloxicam. Femoral fractures were surgically created in 21 male pigeons and immediately repaired with an intramedullary pin. All pigeons were administered butorphanol (1 mg/kg IM) before the surgery, as well as at 4 and 8 hours following the first dose. Pigeons were randomly assigned to three groups: meloxicam low dose (MxL) and meloxicam high dose (MxH) groups, which received respectively 0.5 and 2 mg/kg PO q12h for 10 days, and a placebo group (Sal) that received saline at an identical frequency. Pain assessment included weight-bearing measurements using an Incapacitance meter, clinical observations, pain scores, and ethograms using video records. Blood parameters were monitored throughout the study and complete necropsies were performed 3 weeks after the surgery. Non-parametric tests were used. When compared to the Sal and MxL groups, weight-bearing on the altered limb after the first postoperative day was higher and postoperative pain scores lower in the MxH group. Time spent on the perch was not altered in group MxH, whereas it was reduced during the first two postoperative days in group Sal and for four postoperative days in group MxL. Time spent exploring the environment was reduced during the first two postoperative days in group Sal and group MxL. No signs of toxicity were detected with these doses in pigeons. Our results suggest that 2 mg/kg of meloxicam PO q12h provides better analgesia than dosages reported in the avian literature (0.1 to 0.5 mg/kg) in pigeons.
This study was graciously funded by Boerhinger Ingelheim and the Fonds en Santé des Animaux de Compagnie of the Université de Montréal.