Doss, G. A., Mans, C. 2020. Antinociceptive efficacy and safety of subcutaneous buprenorphine hydrochloride administration in African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 257(6), 618-623.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate antinociceptive efficacy and safety of SC buprenorphine hydrochloride administration in African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris). ANIMALS: 12 healthy adult hedgehogs (7 males and 5 females). PROCEDURES: 3 crossover experimental trials were performed. In the first trial, all 12 hedgehogs were given single SC injections of buprenorphine (0.01 mg/kg 0.0045 mg/lb]), buprenorphine (0.03 mg/kg 0.014 mg/lb]), or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.16 mL/kg 0.073 mL/lb]), and sedation and hind limb thermal withdrawal latency were measured. In the second trial, 6 hedgehogs were given single SC injections of buprenorphine (0.05 mg/kg 0.023 mg/lb]) or saline solution (0.16 mL/kg), and sedation and withdrawal latency were evaluated. In the third trial, 10 hedgehogs were given 3 doses of buprenorphine (0.05 mg/kg, SC, q 24 h) or saline solution (0.16 mL/kg, SC, q 24 h), and food intake and body weight were measured for 6 days. RESULTS: For all 3 experimental trials, the sedation score was 0 for all hedgehogs at all assessment times. A single 0.01-mg/kg dose of buprenorphine significantly increased thermal withdrawal latency for 36 hours, and single 0.03- and 0.05-mg/kg doses significantly increased latencies for 48 hours. Increased locomotor activity was noted in a few hedgehogs after administration of the 0.03- and 0.05-mg/kg doses. Daily administration of buprenorphine did not have significant effects on food intake or body weight. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: SC administration of buprenorphine at single doses of 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05 mg/kg provided safe, long-lasting antinociception in African pygmy hedgehogs without apparent sedative effects.