Atherosclerotic diseases are common in pet psittacine birds, in particular Amazon parrots. While hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidemia have not definitely been associated with increased susceptibility to atherosclerosis in parrots, these are important and well-known risk factors in humans. Therefore statin drugs such as rosuvastatin constitute the mainstay of human treatment of dyslipidemia and the prevention of atherosclerosis. No pharmacologic studies have been performed in psittacine birds despite the high prevalence of atherosclerosis in captivity. Thirteen Hispaniolan Amazon parrots were used to test a single oral dose of 10 mg/kg of rosuvastatin with blood sampling performed according to a balanced incomplete block design over 36 hours. Because low plasma concentrations were produced in the first study, a subsequent pilot study using a dose of 25 mg/kg in 2 Amazon parrots was performed. Most plasma samples for the 10 mg/kg dose and all samples for the 25 mg/kg dose had rosuvastatin concentration below the limits of quantitation. For the 10 mg/kg study, the median peak plasma concentration and time to peak plasma concentration were 0.032 μg/mL and 2 hours, respectively. Our results indicate that rosuvastatin does not appear suitable in Amazon parrots as compounded and used at the dose in this study. Pharmacodynamic studies investigating lipid-lowering effects of statins rather than pharmacokinetic studies may be more practical and cost effective in future studies to screen for a statin with more ideal properties for potential use in psittacine dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic diseases.
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