Meloxicam Residues in Eggs

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One Health is the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment. The importance of One Health is highlighted by many factors in our world today including vigilant protection of our food supplies. With the increasing popularity of backyard poultry ownership, veterinarians are faced with how to treat these animals with regard to drug withdrawal times for egg consumption. A recent review describes allowable medications for use in egg-laying poultry; however, few drugs have recommended doses or withdrawal times for use in laying hens. Meloxicam is an NSAID that is commonly used in avian medicine. A commercially available liquid form is readily available and is easily administered to birds. A recent publication reported that the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank received more requests for egg withdrawal intervals for hens following meloxicam administration than for any other drug. In the study reported herein, we determined egg concentrations of meloxicam following a single oral dose and following oral dosing at 1 mg/kg Q12H for a total of 9 doses (5 days). Meloxicam was detected in egg whites up to 4 days and in egg yolks up to 8 days after single dosing. Drug was detected in egg whites up to 3 days and in egg yolks up to 8 days after multiple doses. Based on these results a 2-week withdrawal time should be adequate to avoid drug residues in eggs meant for consumption.

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