Effect of a single dose of subcutaneous meloxicam prior to band or knife castration in 1-wk-old beef calves: II. Inflammatory response and healing

Citation

Marti, S., Meléndez, D.M., Pajor, E.A., Moya, D., Gellatly, D., Janzen, E.D., Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S. (2018). Effect of a single dose of subcutaneous meloxicam prior to band or knife castration in 1-wk-old beef calves: II. Inflammatory response and healing. Journal of Animal Science, [online] 96(10), 4136-4148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky291

Plain language summary

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single dose of subcutaneous (s.c.) meloxicam administered at the time of knife and band castration on inflammatory response and wound healing for 56 days post castration. Body weights, temperature, and healing of scrotum were measured weekly. Blood samples for physiological parameters were collected at the same time, including haptoglobin and serum amyloid-A. Standing and lying behaviours were measured using accelerometers that were placed on the calves until day 35. A single s.c. injection of meloxicam did not reduce long-term inflammatory responses or improve wound healing; however, it may be useful in reducing pain and stress in band castrated calves as evidenced by reduced hair cortisol concentrations up to 56 d post-castration.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single dose of subcutaneous (s.c.) meloxicam administered at the time of knife and band castration on inflammatory response and wound healing over 56-d post-castration. Seventytwo Angus crossbred calves (47.3 ± 6.70 kg of body weight [BW] and 7 to 8 d of age) were randomly assigned according to a 3 × 2 factorial design assessing castration method: sham (CT), band (BA), and knife (KN) castration, and pain mitigation: non-medicated (NM) and medicated calves (M) injected s.c. with meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg of BW). Calf BW, rectal temperature, swelling ("0": no swelling; "4": swelling needing intervention) and healing score ("1" to "5" with "5" being completely healed), scrotal circumference, and maximum scrotal temperature were measured on d -1, immediately before castration (d 0), and weekly thereafter over a 56-d period. Blood samples for haptoglobin (Hp), serum amyloid-A (SAA), and complete blood cell count were collected according to the same schedule. Hair samples were collected on d -1, 28, and 56 to determine cortisol concentrations. Standing and lying behaviors were measured using accelerometers that were placed on the calves on d -1 until d 35, and visual observations of behaviors related to pain were recorded once a week for 35 d. Knife-castrated calves achieved swelling scores of "3" and "2" between d 7 and 14, which was sooner (Z < 0.05) than in BA calves (from d 14 to 35). In addition, greater (P = 0.03) concentrations of SAA were observed in BA calves (76.9 ± 0.12 g/liter) compared with CT (57.6 ± 0.12 g/liter) and KN (51.6 ± 0.12 g/liter) from d 7 to 35. Healing scores of "2" and "4" tended to be achieved sooner (Z < 0.10) in KN calves than in BA calves, although healing scores of "3" tended to be achieved sooner (Z < 0.10) in BA calves than KN calves. No differences (P > 0.10) were observed among treatments for hair cortisol on d -1 and 28, but on d 56, hair cortisol concentrations in BA-NM calves were greater (P > 0.05) than for CT-NM, BA-M, KN-NM, and KN-M, and tended to be greater (P = 0.08) than for CT-M calves. Lying duration tended (P = 0.10) to be greater and suckling behavior tended (P = 0.08) to be lower in NM than M calves. A single s.c. injection of meloxicam did not reduce long-term inflammatory responses or improve wound healing; however, it may be useful in reducing pain and stress in band castrated calves as evidenced by reduced hair cortisol concentrations up to 56 d post-castration.

Publication date

2018-09-29