Objective-To evaluate the thermal antinociceptive effects and duration of action of buprenorphine hydrochloride after IM administration to American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Animals-12 healthy 3-year-old American kestrels. Procedures-Buprenorphine hydrochloride (0.1, 0.3, and 0.6 mg/kg) and a control treatment (saline [0.9% NaCl] solution) were administered IM in a randomized crossover experimental design. Foot withdrawal response to a thermal stimulus was determined 1 hour before (baseline) and 1.5, 3, and 6 hours after treatment administration. Agitation-sedation scores were determined 3 to 5 minutes before each thermal stimulus. Adverse effects were monitored for 6 hours after treatment administration. Results-Buprenorphine hydrochloride at 0.1, 0.3, and 0.6 mg/kg, IM, increased thermal threshold for 6 hours, compared with the response for the control treatment. There were no significant differences among buprenorphine treatments. A mild sedative effect was detected at a dose of 0.6 mg of buprenorphine/kg. Conclusion and Clinical Relevance-At the doses tested, buprenorphine hydrochloride resulted in thermal antinociception in American kestrels for at least 6 hours, which suggested that buprenorphine has analgesic effects in this species. Further studies with longer evaluation periods and additional forms of noxious stimuli, formulations, dosages, and routes of administration are needed to fully evaluate the analgesic effects of buprenorphine in American kestrels.
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