Avian analgesia

Photo: Hydromorphone, an opioid pain control drug,significantly increases the thermal withdrawal threshold at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg (dotted line) compared to placebo injection (solid line) in American kestrels, indicating effective analgesia with this dose of this drug.

Hydromorphone, an opioid pain control drug,significantly increases the thermal withdrawal threshold at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg (dotted line) compared to placebo injection (solid line) in American kestrels, indicating effective analgesia with this dose of this drug.

Pain control is a critical component of medical treatment in all species. One major focus of the CZAR program is investigation of the metabolism, effectiveness, and safety of pain control drugs for use in birds.

Opioid pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in birds

Opioids (morphine and related compounds) are considered the most effective pain control drugs, but little is known about the metabolism and effectiveness of opioids in birds. CZAR researchers are investigating the use of several different opioid drugs, in a number of avian species. Our work is beginning to show that there are important differences in opioid effectiveness between raptors and other types of birds. Our research will directly impact treatment decisions made by veterinarians working with these species.

Grants:

  • 2009 Morris Animal Foundation Research Grant: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of tramadol HCl in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.
  • 2011 Morris Animal Foundation Research Grant: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of hydromorphone and butorphanol in American kestrels
  • 2013 CCAH Faculty Investigator Grant: Analgesic effects and pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone and buprenorphine in cockatiels.
  • 2013 AAZV Wild Animal Health Fund: Evaluation of thermal antinociceptive effects and pharmacokinetics of slow release buprenorphine in American kestrels (Falco sparverius).
  • 2013 CCAH Faculty Investigator Grant: Effects of fentanyl constant rate infusions in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots

Publications:

  • Guzman DS, Drazenovich TL, Olsen GH, Willits NH, Paul-Murphy JR. Evaluation of thermal antinociceptive effects after intramuscular administration of hydromorphone hydrochloride to American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Am J Vet Res. 2013; 47(6):817-822.
  • Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Souza M, Braun JM, Cox SK, Keuler N, Paul-Murphy J. Antinociceptive effects after oral administration of tramadol hydrochloride in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Am J Vet Res. 2012; 73(8):1148-1152.
  • Souza M, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Paul-Murphy J, Cox SK. Pharmacokinetics after oral and intravenous administration of a single dose of tramadol hydrochloride to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Am J Vet Res. 2012; 73(8):1142-1147.
  • Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Flammer K, Paul-Murphy J, Barker S, Tully TN. Pharmacokinetics of butorphanol after oral, intravenous and intramuscular administration in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). J Avian Med Surg. 2011; Sep;25(3):185-191.
  • Keller D, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Kukanich B, Klauer JM, Paul-Murphy J. Pharmacokinetics of nalbuphine hydrochloride in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Am J Vet Res. 2011; 72(6): 741-745.
  • Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Kukanich B, Keuler N, Klauer JM, Paul-Murphy J. Antinociceptive effects of nalbuphine hydrochloride in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Am J Vet Res. 2011; 72(6):736-740.
  • Desmarchalier M, Troncy E, Beauchamp G, Paul-Murphy JR, Fitzgerald G, Lair S. Evaluation of a fracture pain model in domestic pigeons (Columba livia). Am J Vet Res. 2012; 73(3):353-60.
  • Guzman DS, Drazenovich TL, KuKanich B, Olsen GH, Willits H, Paul-Murphy JR. Evaluation of thermal antinociceptive effects and pharmacokinetics after intramuscular administration of butorphanol tartrate to American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Am J Vet Res. 2014; 75(1):11-18.
  • Gustavsen KA, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Knych HK, Petritz OA, Olsen GH, Paul-Murphy J. Pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine hydrochloride following intramuscular and intravenous administration to American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Am J Vet Res. In press.
  • Ceulemans SM, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Olsen GH, Beaufrere H, Paul-Murphy JR. Evaluation of the thermal antinociceptive effects after intramuscular administration of buprenorphine hydrochloride to American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Am J Vet Res. In press.
Photo: Normal parrot urine sediment at 400x magnification.

Normal parrot urine sediment at 400x magnification, in a study of potential side effects of meloxicam in parrots. Normal urine contains aggregates of urate crystals (squares and “wagon wheels”), but there are no inflammatory cells or protein casts that would indicate kidney damage.

NSAID pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety in birds

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are a mainstay of therapy in domestic animal medicine. Regardless of the inciting cause, reduction of inflammation can ease pain and lessen tissue damage, thereby improving healing. Little is known about the metabolism, effectiveness, or safety of NSAIDs in birds. CZAR research has focused on meloxicam, a relatively new NSAID with selective activity that helps to avoid some of the side effects that can occur with less selective NSAIDs. Our research has shown that birds metabolize meloxicam differently from mammals, and require a much higher dose for effective pain control. Despite the higher dose, our studies have not identified adverse effects of meloxicam in birds.

Grants:

  • 2010 CCAH Faculty Investigator Grant: Two neuropathic pain models for analgesia evaluation in parrots.
  • 2010 AAV Research Grant: Renal, gastrointestinal, and hemostatic effects of meloxicam in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Publications:

  • Sinclair KM, Church ME, Farver TB, Lowenstine LJ, Owens SD, Paul-Murphy J. Effects of meloxicam on hematologic and plasma biochemical analysis variables and results of histologic examination of tissue specimens of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). Am J Vet Res. 2012 Nov; 73(11):1720-1727.
  • Molter CM, Court MH, Cole GA, Gagnon DJ, Hazarika S, Paul-Murphy JR. Pharmacokinetics of meloxicam after intravenous, intramuscular, and oral administration of a single dose to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). Am J Vet Res. 2013; 74(3): 375-80.