Rocuronium pupil dilation in parrots

Examination of the eyes is an important part of a health evaluation, and a complete eye exam requires dilation of the pupils. Birds have both skeletal and smooth muscle in their pupil, which means they have some voluntary control over their pupil size and also means that they do not respond to the drugs typically used to dilate pupils in mammals. Rocuronium is a muscle-paralyzing drug that can be deadly in high doses, but CZAR researchers are investigating the use of a small dose of rocuronium applied as an eye drop to dilate the pupil and facilitate eye exams in birds.