Meloxicam is a commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in veterinary medicine, but its use in amphibians has not been reported in the literature. NSAIDs are known to act by providing anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the intramuscular administration of meloxicam would decrease the circulating serum PGE2 levels in the North American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) following tissue trauma induced by a punch biopsy. Eighteen adult North American bullfrogs were randomly assigned to two treatment groups: meloxicam (0.1 mg/kg i.m.) and control (0.9% saline i.m.). Blood was obtained via cardiocentesis immediately prior to administration of the two treatment regimes and serum was frozen. A 4-mm punch biopsy was taken from the right triceps femoris muscle to induce an inflammatory response. Twenty-four hours later, a second blood sample was collected and serum was harvested and frozen. Serum PGE2 concentrations were measured using a commercial PGE2 enzyme assay (EIA) kit. Twenty-four hours following the biopsy, the mean circulating PGE2 levels of animals treated with meloxicam was 57.79 ± 12.35 pg/ml, which did not differ significantly from animals that were treated with saline (85.63 ± 17.55 pg/ml, P ≥ 0.05). The calculated means of the absolute change between the circulating baseline PGE2 levels and the postinjury circulating PGE2 levels were significantly lower in animals treated with meloxicam (13.11 ± 17.31 pg/ml) than in control animals treated with saline (46.14 ± 38.02 pg/ml) (P ≤ 0.05). These results suggest that the systemic administration of meloxicam at a dosage of 0.1 mg/kg once daily suppresses circulating serum PGE2 levels postinjury in the North American bullfrog.
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