86 (6) pp 339

Title: 
The use of psychoactive drugs in psychogenic feather-picking parrots
Author(s): 
J. GORTEMAN, G. ANTONISSEN, S. CROUBELS, Y. VAN ZEELAND
Abstract: 

Feather damaging behavior is a common problem in captive parrots (Psittaciformes). Besides medicalindications, socio-environmental and neurobiologic causes may underlie the behavior, in which case it isoften referred to as psychogenic feather picking. The treatment of this behavior problem is primarily basedon environmental changes, e.g. enrichment activities, and behavior modification therapy. When thesemeasures provide insufficient or lack of effect, pharmacologic intervention using psychoactive drugs maybe considered. However, the correct use of these drugs requires in depth knowledge of the mechanism ofaction, pharmacokinetic characteristics and toxicity of the selected drug. Since specific information on theuse of psychoactive drugs in birds is often lacking, the (off-label) use of these drugs will in most instancesbe based on empirical findings and dose extrapolation from mammals. This in turn may carry risks, asthe metabolism and sensitivity towards the drug can greatly differ between birds and mammals, therebyresulting in therapy failure and/or serious side effects. Consequently, consideration of these limitationsand careful monitoring of the patient are needed to use psychoactive drugs responsibly in pet birds.    

Full text: 
pp 339-350
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