A campaign has been launched to highlight how administering pain relief to lame cattle as part of a treatment plan can impact positively on recovery time and results.
The Ceva Animal Health initiative, termed ‘wave goodbye to pain’, has been launched following a study by Nottingham University which revealed that NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving injections) have a synergistic effect when administered alongside effective hoof trimming and blocking to treat lameness.
The study, Ceva say, found that trimming alone resulted in a 69 per cent rate of return to mobility without lameness in 35 days.
Adding a block into an effective trimming protocol raised the success rate to 72 per cent, while trimming and administering anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving injections raised it to 76 per cent.
Using all three techniques together, it said, resulted in 85 per cent of cases being successfully resolved.
Ruminant veterinary adviser at Ceva Animal Health Gemma Robinson said: “The study highlights that effective and prompt pain relief with NSAIDs can quickly help restore animals back to full productivity.
“Attitudes on the use of pain relief have changed significantly over the last 10 years," [results from a second study were highlighted, which claimed that 52 per cent of farmers were now happy to pay the extra costs involved, up from 36 per cent in 2006].
"And farmers can have a positive influence by ensuring they recognise the value of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving NSAIDs and prioritise their use on-farm.
“The campaign aims to encourage farmers to review their current pain management plan, take action and seek help from their vet.”
While some concerns had been raised that issues associated with antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic administration were causing farmers to avoid the use of all injectable treatments, Ms Robinson stressed that the two treatments should not be confused.
She said: “We need to be clear that NSAIDs are anti-inflammatories, not antibiotics, and it is important they are used for managing pain, fever and the clinical signs associated with many common conditions. With zero milk-withhold injections available, there is no reason to hesitate when it comes to administering pain relief in otherwise healthy cattle.”