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Jaime Samour, Janine Perlman, Jörg Kinne, Vijay Baskar, Ulrich Wernery, Gerry Dorrestein
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This manuscript reports three independent accidental cases of vitamin (Vit) B6 toxicosis in gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and a toxicology study that was conducted to characterize the clinical responses of gyrfalcons and gyrfalcon × peregrine falcons to a range of single intramuscular (IM) and oral (PO) doses of Vit B6. Both lethal and nonlethal doses were determined. Twelve female gyrfalcons died following IM injection of 1 ml of a vitamin B preparation. Within 30 min of injection, the birds passed pistachio green-colored urates and progressed to vomiting, anorexia, cessation of normal activity, ptosis, collapse, and death, occurring 24–36 hr post injections. Three individuals vomited frothy, partially digested blood and had clonic spasms and convulsions. Postmortem and histopathology revealed multifocal severe hepatic necrosis, splenic lymphoid tissue depletion and hemorrhages with arterial necrosis, and acute renal tubular necrosis. Following administration of a different, oral, mineral-vitamin supplement, a total of 21 peregrine falcons in two separate European facilities died suddenly. Histology of the liver showed diffuse congestion and multifocal coagulative necrosis with mild infiltration of heterophils. The particular nutritional supplement, used by both breeders, was analyzed and found to contain 5–9.7% Vit B6. Other randomly selected lots of the product contained 0.007–0.27% Vit B6. According to the product label, Vit B6 should have been present at 0.004%. To confirm the hypothesis that Vit B6 was responsible for the deaths of the falcons in Abu Dhabi, Vit B6 (British Pharmacopoeia [BP] grade) in powder form was diluted in water for injection and administered IM to four groups of falcons. Groups of four gyrfalcon × peregrine hybrid falcons or gyrfalcons (or both) were given a single IM dose of 5, 10, 15, or 20 mg/kg of Vit B6 or received an oral dose of 25, 50, or 75 mg of Vit B6. Only birds in the lowest-dose groups survived. The maximum nonlethal single doses of Vit B6 in falcons were 5 mg/kg i.m. and 25 mg/kg p.o.

Copyright 2016 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Jaime Samour, Janine Perlman, Jörg Kinne, Vijay Baskar, Ulrich Wernery, and Gerry Dorrestein "VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE) TOXICOSIS IN FALCONS," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 47(2), 601-608, (1 June 2016).
Received: 13 February 2016; Published: 1 June 2016

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