Hello! This month's newsletter is about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Controlling pain in animals is paramount to safeguarding welfare. For years, farm animal analgesia (pain relieving drugs) and pain management has lagged behind that of companion animals, so has the attitude of farmers and vets towards pain. In the last decade, more products have become available and their benefits researched in greater detail.
A study in 2014, published in the veterinary record, found that male vets and those born before 1990 scored pain severity in cattle significantly lower and were therefore less likely to use NSAIDS in cases where they were indicated. Signs of pain are not always easy to spot in cattle - as prey animals they have adapted to be incredibly stoic! But this doesn't mean they can't feel it and therefore pain relief should be used without fail when we are carrying out painful procedures such as disbudding and castration. Not only will this result in better welfare, but it will help prevent the procedure knocking them back, as it will reduce the level of the stress hormone (cortisol) that is produced.