On the farm procedures, anesthesia and analgesia


  • Cindy Wolfe College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul MN 55108




small ruminants, sheep, goats, anesthesia


Common on-farm small ruminant procedures include usual routine husbandry practices such as docking, disbudding and castration. It seems that more people own pet sheep, goats, and/or camelids than a decade ago. These pets may require additional procedures such as castration of older animals and teeth care. Historically these procedures were performed without attention to anesthesia and analgesia. Roadblocks to implementing better pain mitigation include practicality, cost of treatments, availability of legal-to-use drugs, and determining meat and milk withdrawal times. In order for veterinary practitioners to perform procedures and provide better pain mitigation and potentially teach some of these methods to progressive producers, we need pharmaceutical companies, other agency partners, and regulatory agencies to work with us to overcome current obstacles. Local anesthetics such as lidocaine or mepivicaine are not approved for use in the small ruminant species in the US. Use of these agents would also require a change in the thought process as adding a step to any process requires more time to complete the procedure. Changing peoples’ behavior is challenging unless there are obvious benefits such as improved weight gains or less procedural complications documented.






AASRP Small Ruminants Sessions