Evaluating the Impact of Meloxicam Oral Suspension Administered at Parturition: A randomized clinical field trial

Improving Pain Management at Calving

The livestock industry is constantly striving to improve animal welfare. Recognizing that many of the procedures in animals are painful (e.g. dehorning, surgery, hoof trimming), there is a clear need for solutions.

We are beginning to realize that animals may experience pain for many more conditions. Take calving for instance. Dr. Dan Shock of ACER Consulting worked with Dr. Merle Olsen of Solvet & Alberta Veterinary Labs to answer one important question:

If we use a pain-relieving anti-inflammatory product at calving, is there evidence for a reduction in pain?

One of the major mandates of Dr. Olson’s company is to find practical solutions to treat pain in animals. His team designed and conducted a field study to evaluate how well his product controls pain at calving. The research involved over 2,000 dairy cows across 20 commercial dairy herds in Ontario and Quebec.

After completion of the study, Dan looked at records to evaluate whether cows did better when given a pain reliever. Specifically, Dan analyzed production, disease, and culling data to evaluate the effect of MOS after calving. The results were consistent with previous research, where treated cows had:

  • Higher milk production,
  • Lower risk of subclinical mastitis infections, and
  • Lower risk of dying or culling from the herd.

These results agree with other studies testing pain control products at calving:

Attempts to reduce pain at calving with anti-inflammatory drugs lead to better cow health and production.

 

High intakes around calving lead to happier and healthier cows. Cows that have higher intakes have less metabolic disease (think ketosis, displaced abomasum, and milk fever) and stronger immune systems (think less mastitis, metritis, and pneumonia). Anything that influences intakes – like pain – would lead to more health problems in lactation, lower production, and ultimately, a higher risk of death or culling.  

Pain control is necessary for good animal welfare.

You can read the full publication online in the Public Library of Science at:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209236

 

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Solvet & Alberta Veterinary Labs

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Agricultural Communications &
Epidemiological Research

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