To evaluate the pathologic effects of carprofen in a pigeon model (Columba livia), 52 young adult pigeons were used in a randomized control study design. Sixteen pigeons were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups and received carprofen by intramuscular injection at dosages of either 2, 5, or 10 mg/kg once daily for 7 days. Four pigeons served as saline-injected controls. Four pigeons from each group and 1 control pigeon were randomly selected on days 2, 4, 6, and 8 to obtain blood samples and then were euthanatized and submitted for necropsy. Histologic lesions in pectoral muscle, liver, kidney, and digestive tract tissue samples were ranked in severity as 0, normal/not present; 1, minimal; 2, mild; 3, mild to moderate; 4, moderate; 5, moderate to marked; and 6, marked pathologic changes. Two-way analysis of variance (day × dose) and pairwise t tests revealed significant (P ≤ .05) mild decreases in total protein and glucose concentrations and marked increases in aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzyme activities after carprofen treatments. Gross lesions in carprofen-treated pigeons were pale injection sites (23/48 [47.9%]), mottled yellow livers (9/48 [18.8%]), and congestion of small intestines (7/48 [14.6%]). Liver, kidney, and muscle injection sites had significantly increased (P ≤ .05) severity of histologic lesions. In pigeons, intramuscular administration of carprofen is associated with increased aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzyme concentrations, gross lesions in muscle injection sites and liver, and histologic lesions in liver and muscle.
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