Pain relief is an essential part of caring for any animal but production animals often mask signs of pain and discomfort. Knowing what to use, when to use it and if it has been effective can be a challenge. We know that proper control of pain not only increases welfare, but can have tangible benefits to milk production and growth rates, a well as longer lasting implications over the course of their lifetime.
Spotting signs of pain
Cattle are very good at hiding signs of pain and can be quite stoic even when in severe discomfort. When they do eventually show easily recognisable signs of pain they will likely have been suffering for a while beforehand. Being able to recognise an uncomfortable animal as early as possible is one of the best ways of dealing with issues early.
Early signs of Pain:
• Depression (slow, less responsive, dull)
• lnappetence, looking hollow
• Wide eyes
• Reduced movement or increased laying
• Separation from the group
• Panting or heavy breathing
• Teeth grinding
• Stretched neck and/or hunched back