A two-phase cross-over therapeutic study was performed with 19 green iguanas (Iguana iguana) maintained within a preferred optimum temperature range of 26 to 37°C. During phase 1, they were fed a normal vegetarian diet and medicated orally with either allopurinol or a placebo control once a day for seven days. Uric acid concentrations, total protein, packed-cell volumes (pcv) and bodyweights were recorded from each lizard before and after treatment to determine the effects of allopurinol. In phase 2, after a 10-day washout period, the iguanas were fed a high protein diet to induce hyperuricaemia. Normo- and hyperuricaemic iguanas that received 24·2 (3·2) mg/kg allopurinol had significantly lower mean (sd) uric acid concentrations (100·3 [53·1] μmol/l) than the controls (159μ3 [100·3] μmol/l). There were no detectable interactions between the doses of allopurinol or placebo, and the iguanas' diet, weight, pcv or total protein. The allopurinol was well tolerated, and there was no significant clinical, gross or histological evidence of hepatic or renal toxicity in the iguanas that received the drug. However, in the kidneys of the hyperuricaemic iguanas that did not receive allopurinol there were proliferative changes in the glomeruli and degeneration of tubular epithelia. Allopurinol given orally at 25 mg/kg daily is able to reduce plasma uric acid levels by 41 to 45 per cent, and is therefore recommended for the treatment of hyperuricaemia in the green iguana.
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