Dolphins Metabolize Pain Medications Differently Than We Do

The objective of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Each animal received a single oral dose of meloxicam at 0.1 mg/kg. No adverse hematological, biochemical or clinical changes were noted during the study period. A single oral dose provides a peak plasma level similar to what is considered therapeutic in other species. However, the elimination of meloxicam in cetaceans was slower than in other species, with detectable drug concentrations up to 7 days. A single oral dose of 0.1 mg/kg appears safe, but caution in repeated dosing must be used. 

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Simeone, C.A., Nollens, H.H., Meegan, J.M., Schmitt, T.L., Jensen, E.D., Papich, M.G. and Smith, C.R., 2014. Pharmacokinetics of single dose oral meloxicam in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 45(3), pp.594-599.