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Do rubber rings coated with lignocaine reduce the pain associated with ring castration of lambs?

By M. Stewart, N. J. Beausoleil, C. B. Johnson, J. R. Webster, K. E. Schutz, N. Cox, K. J. Stafford

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To facilitate the wider use of pain relief on-farm, practical 'farmer friendly' methods for administering pain relief are necessary. This proof of concept study evaluated the efficacy of rubber rings coated with local anaesthetic (LA, lignocaine) for providing pain relief in lambs castrated 4 weeks after birth. To eliminate any potential effects of blood sampling on behavioural responses to castration, the study was carried out in two parts, utilising different animals. In the first part of the study, behavioural responses were measured for 60 lambs ( n=10 per treatment) randomly allocated to: (1) handling without castration (C), (2) castration with a normal rubber ring (R), (3) castration with a rubber ring coated with LA (RLA), (4) LA injected into the testes and scrotal neck 4 min before a normal ring was applied (LADR), (5) LA injected immediately prior to a normal ring being applied (LAIR), and (6) injection of LA without castration (LA). Total time lying and frequencies of pain-related behaviour (abnormal lying, activity, postural changes) were recorded by video during baseline (30 min) and 3 h post-treatment. In the second part of the study, cortisol responses were measured for 24 lambs ( n=8 per treatment) allocated to one of three treatments: C, R or RLA as above. Blood samples were taken via jugular venipuncture at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min and analysed for plasma cortisol concentrations. In the first part, total time spent lying (%) was lower ( P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 160
Pages 56-63
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.08.007
Language English
Author Address AgResearch Ltd, Ruakura Research Centre, Hamilton, New
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Anesthesia
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal physiology
  4. Animal reproduction
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Blood
  8. Bovidae
  9. Castration
  10. Cleaning
  11. Effect
  12. Handling
  13. Hydrocortisone
  14. Lambs
  15. Lidocaine
  16. Male genitalia
  17. Mammals
  18. Methodologies
  19. Nutrition
  20. Pain
  21. peer-reviewed
  22. ratings
  23. Reproduction
  24. Ruminants
  25. sampling
  26. scrotum
  27. Sheep
  28. Storage and Transport Equipment
  29. Techniques
  30. Testes
  31. therapy
  32. ungulates
  33. veins
  34. vertebrates
  35. Veterinary pharmacology
  36. Wool producing animals
  1. peer-reviewed