Effect of Oral Flunixin Meglumine on Heart Rate, Physical Activity, and Salivary Cortisol Concentration following Cautery Disbudding of Dairy Calves
Keywords:disbudded, analgesics, NSAIDs, milk replacer, flunixin meglumine, heart rate, physical activity, salivary cortisol concentration, cautery
US dairy calves are often disbudded at an early age without analgesics, whereas several other countries require analgesics. Administration of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in milk replacer would be a simple, stress-free method to deliver analgesics for disbudding if shown to improve well-being. Most studies of NSAID efficacy involve older animals, NSAIDs not labeled for use in US cattle, or NSAIDs administered by injection. Our objective was to determine the effects of administering an NSAID labeled for use in US cattle (flunixin meglumine; FM) in milk replacer on heart rate (HR), physical activity (PA), and salivary cortisol concentration (SCC) in young dairy calves disbudded by cautery.