Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Effects of topical anaesthetic and buccal meloxicam on average daily gain, behaviour and inflammation of unweaned beef calves following surgical castration

  • D. Van der Saag (a1), S. Lomax (a2), P. A. Windsor (a1), C. Taylor (a2), P. Thomson (a2), E. Hall (a1) and P. J. White (a1)...

Abstract

Although the pain caused by castration of calves is a significant animal welfare issue for the beef industry, analgesia is not always used for this procedure, largely because of practical limitations associated with injectable forms of pain relief. Novel analgesic formulations have now been developed for livestock to allow topical and buccal administration, offering practical options to improve cattle welfare if shown to be effective. To assess the effects of topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (BM) on average daily gain (ADG), behaviour and inflammation following surgical castration of beef calves, a total of 50 unweaned bull calves were randomly allocated to: (1) sham castration (SHAM, n=10); (2) surgical castration (C, n=10); (3) surgical castration with pre-operative buccal meloxicam (CBM, n=10); (4) surgical castration with post-operative topical anaesthetic (CTA, n=10); and (5) surgical castration with pre-operative buccal meloxicam and post-operative topical anaesthetic (CBMTA, n=10). Calves were recorded on video for 5 h following treatment and the frequency and duration of specific behaviours displayed by each animal was later observed for 5 min every hour (total of 25 min). Average daily gain was calculated 1, 2 and 6 days following treatment. Scrotal diameter measurements and photographs of wounds were collected from all castrated calves 1, 2 and 6 days following treatment to evaluate inflammation and wound healing. Infrared photographs were used to identify maximum scrotal temperature. Digital photographs were used to visually score wounds on a numerical rating scale of 1 to 5, with signs of inflammation increasing and signs of healing decreasing with progressive scores. Sham castration calves displayed significantly less, and C calves displayed significantly more foot stamps than all other calves (P=0.005). Observations on the duration of time that calves displayed a hypometric ‘stiff gait’ locomotion, indicated that SHAM calves tended to spend no time, C calves tended to spend the greatest time and all other calves tended to spend an intermediate time displaying this behaviour (P=0.06). Maximum scrotal temperatures were lower in CBM and CBMTA calves than C and CTA calves 2 days following treatment (P=0.004). There was no significant effect of treatment on ADG (P=0.7), scrotal diameter (P=0.09) or wound morphology score (P=0.5). These results suggest that TA and BM, alone or in combination, reduced pain and BM reduced inflammation following surgical castration of calves.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Amatayakul-Chantler, S, Hoe, F, Jackson, JA, Roca, RO, Stegner, JE, King, V, Howard, R, Lopez, E and Walker, J 2013. Effects on performance and carcass and meat quality attributes following immunocastration with the gonadotropin releasing factor vaccine Bopriva or surgical castration of Bos indicus bulls raised on pasture in Brazil. Meat Science 95, 7884.
Animal Health Australia (AHA) 2014. Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines for cattle. Retrieved on 19 May 2017 from http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/files/2016/02/Cattle-Standards-and-Guidelines-Endorsed-Jan-2016-250116.pdf.
Braiman-Wiksman, L, Solomonik, I, Spira, R and Tennenbaum, T 2007. Novel insights into wound healing sequence of events. Toxicologic Pathology 35, 767779.
Bretschneider, G 2005. Effects of age and method of castration on performance and stress response of beef male cattle: a review. Livestock Production Science 97, 89100.
Celeste, CJ, Deschesne, K, Riley, CB and Theoret, CL 2013. Skin temperature during cutaneous wound healing in an equine model of cutaneous fibroproliferative disorder: kinetics and anatomic-site differences. Veterinary Surgery 42, 147153.
Coetzee, JF 2011. A review of pain assessment techniques and pharmacological approaches to pain relief after bovine castration: practical implications for cattle production within the united states. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 135, 192213.
Coetzee, JF 2013. Assessment and management of pain associated with castration in cattle. Veterinary Clinics of North America, Food Animal Practice 29, 75101.
Coetzee, JF, KuKanich, B, Mosher, R and Allen, P 2009. Pharmacokinetics of intravenous and oral meloxicam in ruminant calves. Veterinary Therapeutics 10, E18.
Earley, B and Crowe, MA 2002. Effects of ketoprofen alone or in combination with local anaesthesia during the castration of bull calves on plasma cortisol, immunological, and inflammatory responses. Journal of Animal Science 80, 10441052.
Fisher, AD, Crowe, MA, Varga, MEAdl and Enright, WJ 1996. Effect of castration method and the provision of local anesthesia on plasma cortisol, scrotal circumference, growth, and feed intake of bull calves. Journal of Animal Science 74, 23362343.
Fisher, AD, Knight, TW, Cosgrove, GP, Death, AF, Anderson, CB, Duganzich, DM and Matthews, LR 2001. Effects of surgical or banding castration on stress responses and behaviour of bulls. Australian Veterinary Journal 79, 279284.
Gregory, NG 2004. Pain. In Physiology and behaviour of animal suffering (ed. JK Kirkwood, RC Hubrecht and EA Roberts), pp. 94119. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK.
Harper, D, Young, A and McNaught, C-E 2014. The physiology of wound healing. Surgery (Oxford) 32, 445450.
Landa, L 2003. The effect of milk suckling from the dam or glucose administration on the behavioural responses to tail docking in lambs. Acta Veterinaria Brno 72, 175182.
Lomax, S, Dickson, H, Sheil, M and Windsor, PA 2010. Topical anaesthesia alleviates short-term pain of castration and tail docking in lambs. Australian Veterinary Journal 88, 6774.
Lomax, S, Sheil, M and Windsor, PA 2008. Impact of topical anaesthesia on pain alleviation and wound healing in lambs after mulesing. Australian Veterinary Journal 86, 159168.
Lomax, S and Windsor, PA 2014. Topical anesthesia mitigates the pain of castration in beef calves. Journal of Animal Science 91, 49454952.
Mintline, EM, Varga, A, Banuelos, J, Walker, KA, Hoar, B, Drake, D, Weary, DM, Coetzee, JF, Stock, ML and Tucker, CB 2014. Healing of surgical castration wounds: a description and an evaluation of flunixin. Journal of Animal Science 92, 56595665.
Molony, V, Kent, JE and Robertson, IS 1995. Assessment of acute and chronic pain after different methods of castration of calves. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 46, 3348.
Moya, D, Gonzalez, LA, Janzen, E, Caulkett, NA, Fireheller, E and Schwartzkopf-Genswein, KS 2014. Effects of castration method and frequency of intramuscular injections of ketoprofen on behavioral and physiological indicators of pain in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 92, 16861697.
Noonan, GJ, Rand, JS, Priest, J, Ainscow, J and Blackshaw, JK 1994. Behavioural observations of piglets undergoing tail docking, teeth clipping and ear notching. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 39, 203213.
Olson, ME, Ralston, B, Burwash, L, Matheson-Bird, H and Allan, ND 2016. Efficacy of oral meloxicam suspension for prevention of pain and inflammation following band and surgical castration in calves. BMC Veterinary Research 12, doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0735-3.
Perez-Torres, L, Orihuela, A, Corro, M, Rubio, I, Alonso, MA and Galina, CS 2016. Effects of separation time on behavioral and physiological characteristics of Brahman cows and their calves. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 179, 1722.
Petherick, JC 2005. Animal welfare issues associated with extensive livestock production: the Northern Australian beef cattle industry. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 92, 211234.
Petherick, JC, Doogan, VJ, Venus, BK, Holroyd, RG and Olsson, P 2009. Quality of handling and holding yard environment, and beef cattle temperament: 2. Consequences for stress and productivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 120, 2838.
Petherick, JC, Small, AH, Mayer, DG, Colditz, IG, Ferguson, DM and Stafford, KJ 2014. A comparison of welfare outcomes for weaner and mature Bos indicus bulls surgically or tension band castrated with or without analgesia: 2. Responses related to stress, health and productivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 157, 3547.
Petherick, JC, Small, AH, Reid, DJ, Colditz, IE and Ferguson, DM 2015. Welfare outcomes for 3- and 6-month-old beef calves in a tropical environment castrated surgically or by applying rubber rings. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 171, 4757.
Prunier, A, Mounier, L, Neindre, Pl, Leterrier, C, Mormede, P, Paulmier, V, Prunet, P, Terlouw, C and Guatteo, R 2013. Identifying and monitoring pain in farm animals: a review. Animal 7, 9981010.
Small, AH, Belson, S, Holm, M and Colditz, IG 2014. Efficacy of a buccal meloxicam formulation for pain relief in Merino lambs undergoing knife castration and tail docking in a randomised field trial. Australian Veterinary Journal 92, 381388.
Stafford, KJ, Mellor, DJ, Todd, SE, Bruce, RA and Ward, RN 2002. Effects of local anaesthesia or local anaesthesia plus a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the acute cortisol response of calves to five different methods of castration. Research in Veterinary Science 73, 6170.
Sutherland, MA, Ballou, MA, Davis, BL and Brooks, TA 2013. Effect of castration and dehorning singularly or combined on the behavior and physiology of Holstein calves. Journal of Animal Science 91, 935942.
Ting, STL, Earley, B and Crowe, MA 2003. Effect of repeated ketoprofen administration during surgical castration of bulls on cortisol, immunological function, feed intake, growth, and behavior. Journal of Animal Science 81, 12531264.
Webster, HB, Morin, D, Jarrell, V, Shipley, C, Brown, L, Green, A, Wallace, R and Constable, PD 2013. Effects of local anesthesia and flunixin meglumine on the acute cortisol response, behavior, and performance of young dairy calves undergoing surgical castration. Journal of Dairy Science 96, 62856300.
Wright, CI, Kroner, CI and Draijer, R 2006. Non-invasive methods and stimuli for evaluating the skin’s microcirculation. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 54, 125.

Keywords

Effects of topical anaesthetic and buccal meloxicam on average daily gain, behaviour and inflammation of unweaned beef calves following surgical castration

  • D. Van der Saag (a1), S. Lomax (a2), P. A. Windsor (a1), C. Taylor (a2), P. Thomson (a2), E. Hall (a1) and P. J. White (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed