To investigate the pharmacokinetics of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) piroxicam in cranes, three brolgas (Antigone rubicunda) were administered piroxicam as a single oral dose at 0.5 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg during separate trials. Serial blood samples were collected for quantification of piroxicam in plasma. Piroxicam was readily absorbed at both dosages, and no adverse effects were observed. Plasma concentrations peaked at 3.67 hr with a concentration of 4.00 μg/ml for the lower dosage, and at 0.83 hr at 8.77 μg/ml for the higher dosage. Piroxicam may exhibit linear kinetics and dose proportionality in brolgas, but will require further study. Mean peak plasma concentrations in brolgas were comparable to concentrations demonstrated to be analgesic in humans. To the authors' knowledge, this study represents the first pharmacokinetic investigation of piroxicam in an avian species.
Keywords: Antigone rubicunda; brolga; crane; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; pharmacokinetics; piroxicam.