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Examples of medicines that may be prescribed to your bird under the Veterinary Cascade

Updated: Jul 13, 2023


All poultry are classified as food producing animals. Sadly, there are comparatively few medicines authorised for use in these species compared to other pets. Therefore, the majority of medicines prescribed will be used on the veterinary cascade.

Examples of medication and warnings can be found below. All these medicines are regularly prescribed by the practice. All owners will be asked to give consent to their bird being prescribed medicines on the veterinary cascade. This covers all future off-licence medicine use, regardless of the product or the condition for which it is being used.


Meloxicam

Use in other food producing species: This medicine is authorised in other food producing species including cattle and pigs.

Function: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory & pain relief

Use in birds: Bird with painful or inflammatory conditions.

Dose rates: Many referenced dosing regimens are available.

Withdrawal period: Published research is available on pharmacokinetics and withdrawal periods in hens. 14-day egg withdrawal, 28-day meat and offal withdrawal.

Side effects: Possible due to action on the liver, gut and kidney so use should be avoided in severely dehydrated animals.

Warnings: Please contact Surrey Poultry Vet if you notice blood in the faeces, regurgitated crop content or yellowing of the lids around the eyes suggesting jaundice.


Paracetamol

Use in other food producing species: This medicine is authorised in other food producing species including pigs.

Function: Pain relief and reducing fever.

Use in birds: Bird with painful conditions or those with a high temperature.

Dose rates: Few references dose rates and frequency are available. Dosing advise is based on research papers and extrapolation from the metabolism of this drug in other species. The published dose is only given once per day, but based on our knowledge of avian rapid metabolisms and the necessity to control pain in your bird, Surrey Poultry Vet may recommend treatment every 4 hours.

Withdrawal period: 7-day egg withdrawal, 28-day meat and offal withdrawal.

Side effects: Possible due to action on the liver, gut and kidney.

Warnings: Please contact Surrey Poultry Vet if you notice blood in the faeces or yellowing of the lids around the eyes suggesting jaundice.


Metoclopramide

Use in other food producing species: This medicine is not authorised in any food producing species but is commonly used in humans and dogs.

Function: It is a dopamine receptor antagonist and acts as a gut prokinetic and antiemetic. in other species researched.

Use in birds: It is useful in birds with delayed crop emptying or showing signs of nausea.

Dose rates: Dose rates for this medicine are provided in numerous veterinary formularies.

Withdrawal period: Despite studies on pharmacokinetics in other species suggesting it is a short-acting and rapidly excreted, it is not authorised in food producing species so maximum withdrawals are applied. 28-day egg withdrawal, 56-day meat and offal withdrawal.

Side effects: It has been shown to cause central nervous system depression in chicks at doses 2.5x normal prescribed doses.

Warnings: Please contact Surrey Poultry Vet if your bird shows signs of restlessness, severe drowsiness or any unusual neurological symptoms.


Amoxicillin clavulanate

Use in other food producing species: This medicine is authorised in other food producing species including cattle.

Function: Antibiotic of the penicillin class.

Use in birds: Where there is evidence of bacterial infection that is likely to be resistant to Amoxicillin alone.

Dose rates: Many referenced dosing regimens are available.

Withdrawal period: 21-day egg and 28-day meat & offal withdrawal. Persons in contact with the treated bird with penicillin allergy should apply double the recommended withdrawal periods.

Side effects: Possible effects on the gut e.g. crop mycosis or enteritis by disruption to the normal gut flora.

Warnings: Please contact Surrey Poultry Vet if your bird shows signs of blood in the faeces or in regurgitated crop contents, delayed crop emptying or crop distension.

Persons in contact with the treated bird should wear gloves when handling the medicine and wash hands after contacting the treated bird for the duration and 14 days after end of treatment.


Chlortetracycline spray

Use in other food producing species: Authorised orally in poultry and topically in other food producing species for example cattle.

Function: Broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Use in birds: To treat topical bacterial infections.

Dose rates: Extrapolated from the oral dose rates in poultry.

Withdrawal period: 7-day egg and 28-day meat & offal withdrawal.

Side effects: Local irritation possible. After cutaneous administration of the veterinary medicinal product, absorption of chlortetracycline is negligible so systemic side effects are unlikely.

Warnings: Protect the eyes of the bird when spraying in the vicinity of the head. Prevent the treated area being pecked by the bird or its pen mates. Wear gloves whilst handling the product, avoid contact with your eyes and inhaling vapours. Apply the product in open air or in a sufficiently ventilated area. Wash hands after use.


Ivermectin

Use in other food producing species: This medicine is authorised in other food producing species including cattle, sheep & pigs.

Function: Ectoparasiticide and anthelmintic

Use in birds: To treat ectoparasites in poultry. Not ethical to use to treat worms. Use Flubenvet instead.

Dose rates: Avian dose rates are published.

Withdrawal period: 14-day egg withdrawal, 29-day meat and offal withdrawal.

Side effects: Signs of toxicity include incoordination and blindness

Warnings: Wear gloves. Avoid skin and/or eye contact. Wash hands after use. Toxic to pond-life so do not allow direct access to ponds, streams or ditches for 14 days after treatment.


Lidocaine hydrochloride



Use in other food producing species: All authorised in animals for human consumption e.g. horses

Function: Local anaesthetic.

Use in birds: Used to numb areas during minor painful procedures e.g. pododermatitis surgery or crop surgery.

Dose rates: Published dose rates are available for Lidocaine.

Withdrawal period: 7-day egg and 28-day meat & offal withdrawal

Side effects: May cause cardiovascular and central nervous system depression. Neurological effects are much less likely when topically administrated compared to administration for the purposes of a neural block.

Warnings: Cardiovascular and respiratory vital signs must be monitored.



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