A Holdhus Small, D. Marini, M le Floch, D Paull, C Lee
CSIRO Agriculture & Food, FD McMaster Laboratory, New England Highway, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
Research in Veterinary Science
Mulesing is a painful husbandry procedure commonly used to reduce the risk of breech strike in sheep. This study assessed the behavioural (over 6_h), cortisol, haptoglobin and haematology responses to surgical mulesing plus tail hot knife docking (mulesing); modulated by a buccal meloxicam formulation (Buccalgesic), a topical local anaesthetic wound dressing (Tri-Solfen) or both agents. 24 lambs were allocated to each of: 1) Placebo and sham handled (Sham); 2) Placebo and mulesing (Mules); 3) Buccalgesic and mulesing (Mules_+_B); 4) Tri-Solfen and mulesing (Mules_+_T); 5) Placebo, Tri-Solfen and mulesing (Mules_+_T_+_P); 6) Buccalgesic, Tri-Solfen and mulesing (Mules_+_T_+_B). Compared with Mules, Mules_+_T had a lower cortisol response (72.5_±_8.7_nmol/L v 122.9_±_8.7_nmol/L) at 30_min, reduced statue standing at 2_h (3.9% v 11.4%) and increased lying (20.925.0% v 7.312.5%). Mules_+_B had reduced cortisol response at 6_h (48.1_±_8.5_nmol/L), reduced Neutrophil:Lymphocyte ratio at 6_h (Mules_+_B: 1.25; Mules: 2.44), reduced statue standing at 2_h and 46_h (4.18.3%), and increased lying at 5_h (27.4%). Mules_+_B_+_T had lower cortisol concentrations at 30_mins (86.51_±_8.71_nmol/L), TWCC not significantly different from Sham at 6_h (9.07 vs 8.09) and 24_h (9.05 vs 8.38). Mules_+_T_+_B had significantly lower TWCC than Mules at 12_h (9.56 vs 11.05) and 24_h (9.05 vs 10.42). Mules_+_T_+_B did not.
BIOSEB Instruments Used:
SMALGO: SMall animal ALGOmeter (BIO-SMALGO)