Emily Sycamore explains more about the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as pain relievers in calves.
Recently you may have seen articles in the farming press encouraging the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as pain relievers for procedures such as castration and disbudding in calves. This is something that, as a practice, Scarsdale would strongly advocate. The campaign is supported by the BCVA (British Cattle Veterinary Association) amongst other organisations.
Recent research by the University of Nottingham has shown that both vets’ and farmers’ willingness to use anti-inflammatories has increased over the past ten years. This is partially due to perceptions of pain severity (related to procedures such as disbudding and castration) increasing, and partially due to the cost of analgesia being found to be within an acceptable range for farmers.
There are a number of benefits to be gained from using anti-inflammatory drugs when castrating or disbudding. These benefits include improved welfare and smaller checks in growth rates after the procedure (growth rate checks are often associated with pain, which in turn is associated with decreased feed intake).
There are a number of different anti-inflammatory drugs available for use in calves, with different products having different lengths of activity and different withdrawal periods. All anti-inflammatory drugs provide pain relief, will reduce inflammation and will help to bring down a high temperature.
If you have any questions regarding the use of anti-inflammatories, please contact us at the practice.