To evaluate the toxicity of short-term high doses of meloxicam in American kestrels (Falco sparverius), 32 male captive-born, 1- to 4-year-old American kestrels were randomly assigned to 4 groups: 3 groups treated with meloxicam (n = 9 per group) and a control group (n = 5). Meloxicam was administered orally via feeding tube in the proventriculus at 2, 10, and 20 mg/kg every 12 hours for 7 days for the treatment groups, while the control group received saline solution. The birds were evaluated for the presence of clinical signs, abnormalities in the complete blood cell count and in the plasma biochemical panel for the 20-mg/kg group, and gross and histopathologic lesions. No clinical signs or mortality were observed in any group. No significant differences of clinical relevance were found in results of the packed cell volume, total solids, and biochemical panel, and no evidence of renal toxicity was found in the treatment or control groups. A significant correlation was found between hepatic lipidosis and meloxicam dose (P = .02). Two of 9 birds in the 20-mg/kg group developed gastric ulcers, although this result was not significant. None of the birds in the 2- and 10-mg/kg groups had similar lesions. Finally, meloxicam dosages up to 20 mg/kg did not result in nephrotoxicity in American kestrels. Further toxicologic studies to evaluate hepatotoxicity and gastrotoxicity of meloxicam in avian species are needed.
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