Objective - To evaluate the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam in parrots with experimentally induced arthritis, with extent of weight bearing and rotational perch walking used as outcome measures. Animals - 15 adult Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis). Procedures - Arthritis was experimentally induced via intra-articular injection of microcrystalline sodium urate suspension (MSU) into 1 intertarsal joint. Parrots were treated in a crossover design. Five treatments were compared as follows: meloxicam (4 dosages) at 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg (IM, q 12 h, 3 times) and 0.03 mL of saline (0.9% NaCI) solution (IM, q 12 h, 3 times). The first treatment was given 6 hours following MSU administration. Lameness was assessed by use of a biomechanical perch to record weight-bearing load and a rotational perch to determine dexterity. Feces were collected to assay for occult blood. Results - Parrots treated with meloxicam at 1.0 mg/kg had significantly better return to normal (baseline) weight bearing on the arthritic pelvic limb, compared with control parrots or parrots treated with meloxicam at 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/kg. All fecal samples collected from parrots following induction of arthritis and treatment with meloxicam had negative results for occult blood. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Meloxicam administered at 1.0 mg/kg, IM, every 12 hours effectively relieved arthritic pain in parrots.
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