Back to home page

Carprofen and local anaesthesia in calves undergoing disbudding

Clinical Scenario

During a visit to one of your small hobby suckler herds, the owner Mary Reader, asks you to disbud three suckler calves, born within the last few weeks. The last time she had animals disbudded with a hot iron she was upset by how the animals behaved after the procedure—she says they were “out of sorts” and looked uncomfortable. Whilst Mrs Reader knows the animals must be disbudded, she asks you whether analgesics as well as the local anaesthetic will reduce the pain. You assure her you always use local anaesthetic but you wonder if the addition of carprofen would decrease the level of discomfort experienced by the calves...

3-Part Question (PICO)

In [calves undergoing non-chemical disbudding] does [the administration of carprofen in addition to local anaesthetic versus local anaesthetic alone] [decrease the behavioural indicators of discomfort associated with the procedure]?

Search Strategy and Summary of Evidence

Search Strategy

MEDLINE(R) In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations and MEDLINE(R) 1946 to Present using the OVID interface

(calf.mp. OR calves.mp. OR bovine$.mp. OR cattle.mp. OR young stock.mp. OR youngstock.mp. OR bos.mp. OR cow$.mp. OR exp Cattle/)

AND

(disbud.mp. OR disbudding.mp. OR disbudded.mp. OR de horn.mp. OR de horning.mp. OR de horned.mp. OR dehorn.mp. OR dehorning.mp. OR dehorned.mp. OR horn removal$.mp. OR horn removing.mp. OR bud removal$.mp. OR bud removing.mp.)

AND

(NSAID$.mp. OR non steroidal$.mp. OR nonsteroidal$.mp. OR analgesia$.mp. OR analgesic$.mp. OR carprofen.mp. OR rimadyl.mp. OR norocarp.mp. OR zenecarp.mp. OR exp Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/ OR exp Analgesia/ OR exp Analgesics/ OR nerve block$.mp. OR lidocain$.mp. OR lignocain$.mp. OR procain$.mp. OR bupivacain$.mp. OR mepivacain$.mp. OR ropivacain$.mp. OR prilocain$.mp. OR lignol.mp. OR willcain.mp. OR local anaesthetic$.mp. OR local anesthetic$.mp. OR local anaesthesia.mp. OR local anesthesia.mp. OR regional anaesthesia.mp. OR regional anesthesia.mp. OR regional anaesthetic$.mp. OR regional anesthetic$.mp. OR exp Nerve Block/ OR exp Anesthetics, Local/ OR exp Anesthesia, Local/ OR exp Anesthesia, Conduction/ OR exp Lidocaine/ OR exp Procaine/ OR exp Mepivacaine/ OR exp Bupivacaine/ OR exp Prilocaine/)

CAB Abstracts 1910 to Present using the OVID interface

(calf.mp. OR calves.mp. OR bovine$.mp. OR cattle.mp. OR young stock.mp. OR youngstock.mp. OR bos.mp. OR cow$.mp. OR exp calves/ OR exp cows/ OR exp cattle/)

AND

(disbud.mp. OR disbudding.mp. OR disbudded.mp. OR de horn.mp. OR de horning.mp. OR de horned.mp. OR dehorn.mp. OR dehorning.mp. OR dehorned.mp. OR horn removal$.mp. OR horn removing.mp. OR bud removal$.mp. OR bud removing.mp. OR exp disbudding/ OR exp dehorning/)

AND

(NSAID$.mp. OR non steroidal$.mp. OR nonsteroidal$.mp. OR analgesia$.mp. OR analgesic$.mp. OR carprofen.mp. OR rimadyl.mp. OR norocarp.mp. OR zenecarp.mp. OR exp non-steroidal antiinflammatory agents/ OR exp analgesics/ OR nerve block$.mp. OR lidocain$.mp. OR lignocain$.mp. OR procain$.mp. OR bupivacain$.mp. OR mepivacain$.mp. OR ropivacain$.mp. OR prilocain$.mp. OR lignol.mp. OR willcain.mp. OR local anaesthetic$.mp. OR local anesthetic$.mp. OR local anaesthesia.mp. OR local anesthesia.mp. OR regional anaesthesia.mp. OR regional anesthesia.mp. OR regional anaesthetic$.mp. OR regional anesthetic$.mp. OR exp conduction anaesthesia/ OR exp local anaesthesia/ OR exp local anaesthetics/ OR exp lidocaine/ OR exp procaine/)

Search Outcome

MEDLINE

  • 75 papers found in MEDLINE search
  • 73 papers excluded as they don't meet the PICO question
  • 0 papers excluded as they are in a foreign language
  • 1 papers excluded as they are review articles/in vitro research/conference proceedings
  • 1 total relevant papers from MEDLINE

CAB Abstracts

  • 170 papers found in CAB search
  • 163 papers excluded as they don't meet the PICO question
  • 0 papers excluded as they are in a foreign language
  • 6 papers excluded as they are review articles/in vitro research/conference proceedings
  • 1 total relevant papers from CAB

Total relevant papers

1 relevant papers from both MEDLINE and CAB Abstracts

Summary of Evidence

Stilwell et al. (2012) Portugal/UK

Title:

Effects of hot-iron disbudding, using regional anaesthesia with and without carprofen, on cortisol and behaviour of calves.

Patient group:

Female calves undergoing hot-iron disbudding, 8-10 weeks old

Study Type:

Randomised controlled trial

Outcomes:
  • Plasma cortisol levels (measured for 24 hours after disbudding)
  • Frequency of behavioural indicators of pain – head shakes, ear flicks, transitions, head rubs and total behaviours (measured for 24 hours after disbudding)
  • Inert lying behaviour (measured for 24 hours after disbudding)
Key Results:
  • Disbudded with local anaesthetic (LA) only group showed significantly more total pain behaviours at 15m, 1h, 3h and 6h than the group disbudded with LA plus carprofen (p<0.05)
  • Lidocaine plus carprofen group showed no difference in pain behaviour indicators compared to sham disbudded group at any time point (p>0.05 for all behaviour incidences)
  • No statistically significant differences in the cortisol levels of  LA only and lidocaine plus carprofen groups at 1h, 3h or 6hrs (p>0.05)
Study Weaknesses:
  • Small group sizes (n=6 calves per group for treatments of interest) with no sample size justification
  • Method of randomisation of calves to treatment groups not stated
  • Behaviour recording methods not clearly outlined
  • Baseline behaviour data not reported
  • Ethical approval not stated
Attachment:
No attachments.

Comments

This is a single small clinical trial (n=6 calves per group for the treatments of interest) with some lack of detail in the reporting of methodologies.

Bottom line

Administration of systemic carprofen along with lidocaine local anaesthetic reduces pain related behaviours in the 24 hours following disbudding in calves.

Disclaimer

The BETs on this website are a summary of the evidence found on a topic and are not clinical guidelines. It is the responsibility of the individual veterinary surgeon to ensure appropriate decisions are made based on the specific circumstances of patients under their care, taking into account other factors such as local licensing regulations. Read small print

References

Stilwell G, Lima MS, Carvalho RC, Broom DM (2012) Effects of hot-iron disbudding, using regional anaesthesia with and without carprofen, on cortisol and behaviour of calves.  Research in Veterinary Science 92: 338-341.

About this BET

First author:
Kathryn Wareham
Second author:
Rachel Dean
Institution:

CEVM, University of Nottingham

Search last performed:
2018-03-15 11:44:56
Original publication date:
2013-09-13 11:44:56
Last updated:
2018-03-15 11:44:56
About BETs?

A BET is a simple method of searching for and appraising evidence around a very specific clinical situation.

Read more …

Using BETs?

BETs don’t tell you what to do, they tell you about the evidence on a certain topic.

Read more …

Not a Vet?

This website has been designed to help vets use the best, most relevant, up to date science when they make decisions about their patients.

Read more …