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Evaluation of potential alternatives to cautery disbudding for dairy goat kids using physiological measures of acute and post-operative pain

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 16:03 authored by Melissa HempsteadMelissa Hempstead, Joseph Waas, Mairi Stewart, Vanessa Cave, Mhairi Sutherland
The objective of this study was to evaluate potential alternatives to cautery disbudding (caustic paste, cryosurgery, clove oil) for goat kids using physiological measures of acute and post-operative pain. We used 50 Saanen doe kids aged 10.6 ± 0.13 days (mean ± SEM) and randomly assigned them to one of five treatments (n=10/treatment) that were either disbudded using (i) a cautery iron (CAUT), (ii) caustic paste (CASP), (iii) application of liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery; CRYO) and (iv) clove oil injected into the horn bud (CLOV) or (v) horn buds massaged but not disbudded (SHAM). Serum cortisol and haptoglobin concentrations were measured from blood samples collected immediately prior to treatment (baseline) and at 15, 30, 60 and 120 min and at 6 and 24 h post-treatment. An infrared thermography camera was used to take images of the horn buds at 24 h pre- and 24, 48 and 72 h post-treatment to measure skin surface temperature. Body weight was measured on the day of treatment and then daily for a week post-treatment to assess weight gain. Digital images of the horn buds were taken regularly for up to six weeks post-treatment to assess tissue damage and associated wound healing. Serum cortisol concentrations were elevated in CASP kids up to 1 h post-treatment above CAUT kid levels (P ≤ 0.05). CRYO kids were elevated above CAUT kids for 30 min post-treatment (P ≤ 0.05) and CLOV kids were similar to CAUT kids post-treatment (P ≥ 0.23). Serum haptoglobin concentrations were similar across treatments over time (P > 0.26) except haptoglobin concentrations were elevated above all treatments for CLOV kids at 24 h post-treatment (P < 0.0001). Skin surface temperatures of the horn bud area of CASP and CLOV kids were elevated above CAUT kids at all time points post-treatment and all disbudded kids had skin surface temperatures elevated above SHAM kids at 72 h post-treatment (P < 0.01). There was no effect of treatment on weight gain (P = 0.57). On day one post-treatment, CAUT kids had large open wounds, with bone exposed and CASP kids had open, raw wounds with inflammation and redness. CRYO kids had closed, dry wounds with some inflammation and lesions and open wounds post-treatment. CLOV kids had closed, dry wounds with some inflammation and blackened skin in the days following treatment. Caustic paste and cryosurgery appeared to cause more pain compared with cautery disbudding as indicated by elevated cortisol concentrations, signs of inflammation at 3 days post-treatment and the extent of the observed tissue damage; for these reasons, caustic paste and cryosurgery may not provide a good alternative to cautery disbudding. Clove oil disbudding appeared to cause a similar stress response to cautery and although inflammation was apparent, CLOV kids had smaller wounds and the wounds appeared to heal quickly. Therefore, clove oil shows promise as an alternative to cautery disbudding; however, future research should evaluate the efficacy of clove oil in preventing horn growth in dairy goat kids.

History

Rights statement

© 2018 American Dairy Science Association®.

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

Elsevier

Journal title

Journal of Dairy Science

ISSN

0022-0302

Citation

Hempstead, M. M., Waas, J. R., Stewart, M., Cave, V. M., & Sutherland, M. A. (2018). Evaluation of potential alternatives to cautery disbudding for dairy goat kids using physiological measures of acute and post-operative pain. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(6), 5374–5387. doi:10.3168/jds.2017-13814

Funder

Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment

Contract number

A20191

Job code

55374

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