Acute and chronic pain in calves after different methods of rubber-ring castration

Becker, Johanna; Doherr, Marcus G.; Bruckmaier, Rupert M.; Bodmer, Michèle; Zanolari, Patrik; Steiner, Adrian (2012). Acute and chronic pain in calves after different methods of rubber-ring castration. Veterinary journal, 194(3), pp. 380-385. Elsevier 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.04.022

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The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different methods of rubber-ring castration on acute and chronic pain in calves. Sixty-three 4-6 week-old calves were randomly and sequentially allocated to one of five groups: Group RR (traditional rubber ring castration); group BRR (combination of one rubber ring with Burdizzo); group Rcut (one rubber ring applied with the scrotal tissue and rubber ring removed on day 9); group 3RR (three rubber rings placed one above the other around the scrotal neck); and group CO (controls; sham-castrated). All calves received 0.2 mL/kg bodyweight lidocaine 2%, injected into the spermatic cords and around the scrotal neck 15 min before castration. The presence of acute and chronic pain was assessed using plasma cortisol concentrations, response to palpation of scrotal area, time from castration until complete wound healing, and behavioural signs. Calves of group 3RR showed severe swelling and inflammation, and licking of the scrotal area occurred significantly more often than in groups Rcut and CO. Technique 3RR was discontinued for welfare reasons before the end of the study. All castration groups had significantly more pain upon palpation than calves of group CO, but palpation elicited markedly less pain in group Rcut than in the other castration groups. The most rapid healing time and shortest duration of chronic pain after castration was achieved in group Rcut. For welfare reasons, the Rcut technique should be considered as a valuable alternative to traditional rubber ring castration of calves at 4-6 weeks of age.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Becker, Johanna; Doherr, Marcus; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Bodmer, Michèle; Zanolari, Patrik and Steiner, Adrian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1090-0233

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

22 May 2014 14:40

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2015 13:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.04.022

PubMed ID:

22647596

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.52987

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/52987

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