OBJECTIVE To determine the thermal antinociceptive effects of butorphanol tartrate and butorphanol tartrate in a sustained-release 25% poloxamer 407 (P407) gel formulation (But-P407) in parrots. ANIMALS 13 orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica). PROCEDURES First, butorphanol tartrate (5 mg/kg) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was administered IM to birds in a randomized complete crossover design. The temperature prompting a foot withdrawal response to a thermal stimulus (ie, the thermal threshold) was determined 30 minutes before (baseline) and at various points after treatment administration. Second, But-P407 (12.5 mg/kg) or P407 was administered SC in a similar crossover design. Thermal threshold was determined before and at various points after treatment administration. Third, But-P407 (12.5 mg/kg) or saline solution was administered SC and evaluated as in the second trial. Sedation was scored immediately before each time point in all 3 trials. RESULTS In the first trial, a significant increase in thermal threshold was noted 30 minutes after butorphanol tartrate (vs saline solution) administration. No sedation was noted. In the second and third trials, no significant difference was identified between results for But-P407 and those for either control treatment (saline solution or P407). Mild sedation was noted in the second trial following But-P407 administration. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested a small but significant thermal antinociceptive effect of butorphanol tartrate lasting between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours in orange-winged Amazon parrots. No antinociceptive effect of butorphanol tartrate was demonstrated when delivered in P407. Further research is needed to evaluate the potential analgesic effects of But-P407.
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