Assessment of the Analgesic Effects of Meloxicam on Postoperative Pain in Pigeons (Colombia livia)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2009
Marion Desmarchelier1, DMV, DES; Stéphane Lair1, DMV, DES, DVSc, DACZM; Eric Troncy2, DV, PhD; Guy Fitzgerald1, DMV, MSc
1Service de médecine zoologique, Département de sciences cliniques, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada; 2Groupe de recherche en pharmacologie animale du Québec, Département de Biomédecine; Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada


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.


Speaker Information
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Marion Desmarchelier, DMV, DES
Service de médecine zoologique
Département de sciences cliniques
Université de Montréal
Montréal, QC, Canada

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