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Post-procedure performance of calves undergoing burdizzo castration with ketoprofen and local anaesthetic

Clinical Scenario

During a visit to one of your small suckler herds, the owner, Joe Miles, asks you to castrate three of the suckler calves he has recently housed. The pedigree Simmental calves are 7 weeks old. Joe doesn’t mind what method of castration you employ although he comments that the last time he had calves castrated he got the impression that their growth was “checked” by the procedure. You use the burdizzo method with local anaesthetic and you wonder if the addition of NSAIDs would mean the calves would have a better recovery and future performance...

3-Part Question (PICO)

In [calves undergoing burdizzo castration] does [ketoprofen plus local anaesthetic compared to local anaesthetic alone] affect [recovery and future performance]?

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 cattle.mp. OR bovine.mp. OR bovines.mp. OR bos.mp. OR young stock.mp. OR youngstock.mp. OR exp Cattle/)

AND

(emascul$.mp. OR castrat$.mp. OR sterilis$.mp. OR steriliz$.mp. OR neuter$.mp. OR exp Castration/)

AND

(ketoprofen.mp. OR ketofen.mp. OR ketophen.mp. OR NSAID.mp. OR nonsteroidal.mp. OR non steroidal.mp. OR exp Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/ OR exp Ketoprofen/)

AND

(local anaesthetic.mp. OR local anaesthesia.mp. OR procaine.mp. OR nerve block.mp. OR regional anaesthe$.mp. OR regional anesthe$.mp. OR local anaesthe$.mp. OR local anesthe$.mp. OR exp Anesthetics, Local/ OR exp Anesthesia, Local/ OR exp Nerve Block/)

CAB Abstracts 1910 to Present using the OVID interface

(calf.mp. OR calves.mp. OR cattle.mp. OR bovine.mp. OR bovines.mp. OR bos.mp. OR young stock.mp. OR youngstock.mp. OR exp calves/ OR exp cattle/)

AND

(emascul$.mp. OR castrat$.mp. OR sterilis$.mp. OR steriliz$.mp. OR neuter$.mp. OR exp castration/ OR exp emasculation/)

AND

(ketoprofen.mp. OR ketofen.mp. OR ketophen.mp. OR NSAID.mp. OR nonsteroidal.mp. OR non steroidal.mp. OR exp non-steroidal antiinflammatory agents/ OR exp ketoprofen/)

AND

(local anaesthetic.mp. OR local anaesthesia.mp. OR procaine.mp. OR nerve block.mp. OR regional anaesthe$.mp. OR regional anesthe$.mp. OR local anaesthe$.mp. OR local anesthe$.mp. OR exp local anaesthetics/ OR exp local anaesthesia/)

Search Outcome

MEDLINE

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

CAB Abstracts

  • 24 papers found in CAB search
  • 19 papers excluded as they don't meet the PICO question
  • 1 papers excluded as they are in a foreign language
  • 3 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

Stafford et al. (2002) New Zealand

Title:

Effects of local anaesthesia or local anaesthesia plus a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the acute cortisol response of calves to five different methods of castration.

Patient group:

190 calves of 2 - 4 months of age that were undergoing castration.

Study Type:

Randomised controlled trial

Outcomes:
  • Blood cortisol level, pre-treatment and peak concentrations
  • Weight gain (at 29 and 43 days after treatment)
  • Wound healing
Key Results:
  • No significant difference was found in relation to weight gain between the groups (raw data not presented in the publication)
  • Comparison made at the castration method level (e.g. burdizzo versus ring castration, surgical castration) for wound healing; no mention made of a comparison between ketoprofen+local and local only groups who were castrated via the burdizzo method
Study Weaknesses:
  • No sample size justification, unsure of the method used to assign calves to different groups
  • Numbers were small within the groups - 19 groups of 8-10 per group, with these small numbers statistical differences are unlikely to occur due to Type II errors
  • The pre-intervention weights were not broken down according to treatment group; as there was a large range of weights (68 - 132kg) this could have impacted on the results if the calf weights within groups were skewed towards one end of the range
  • Only have p-values in methods, p-values are not given with the results
  • Only 176 calves were analysed from 190 in the original group with no record of the missing calves
  • No difference in weights at 75 and 92 days after treatment reported in the results (however methods state that measurements were taken at 29 and 43 days, not 75 and 92 days)
  • It is difficult to determine whether a comparison was made between the ketoprofen+local group and the local only group in relation to wound healing as the outcomes are reported at the burdizzo castration level (which includes both groups) in the results section
  • No limitations addressed in the discussion, or negative implications
Attachment:
No attachments.

Comments

The paper only mentions weight changes as a measure of performance, however it is not examined in detail in this research study as cortisol levels were the main measure of interest. Wound healing as an outcome is difficult to assess within the calves that were castrated by the same method (e.g. burdizzo), given the format that the results have been reported in.  The primary aim of the study is related to measuring post castration cortisol levels, which is likely to have decreased the level of detail reported on factors relating to future performance, which was the main aim of this BET.

Bottom line

As the presented study was not powered to detect differences in recovery and future performance, there is insufficient evidence to suggest a difference between ketoprofen administration in addition to local anaesthetic versus local anaesthetic alone in calves undergoing burdizzo castration.

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

Stafford KJ, Mellor DJ, Todd SE, Bruce RA, Ward RN, (2002). Effects of local anaesthesia or local anaesthesia plus a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the acute cortisol response of calves to five different methods of castration. Research in Veterinary Science 73: 61–70.

About this BET

First author:
Martin Downes
Second author:
Marnie Brennan
Institution:

The Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine, The University of Nottingham

Search last performed:
2016-07-05 10:29:44
Original publication date:
2015-09-25 10:29:44
Last updated:
2017-07-05 10:29:44
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