Pain Relief Among Calves Dehorned with Chemical Paste
In a report published in the American Journal of Dairy Science (August, 2017) the authors assessed pain response to dehorning with chemical paste. They also evaluate methods of pain relief.
In summary, they reported
1. Calves dehorned with chemical paste with no pain relief showed symptoms of strong pain at 60 minutes that continued somewhat diminished out to three hours.
2. Calves dehorned with chemical paste with a cornual nerve block (similar to that used for thermal dehorning) showed much, much lower symptoms of pain over the 3-hour observation period post treatment.
3. The authors recommended using the same pain relief procedures for caustic paste dehorning as for thermal burning.
As always consult your dairy veterinarian for the procedures best for your farm.
Winder, C.B. and Others, "Clinical trial of local anesthetic protocols for acute pain associated with caustic paste disbudding in dairy calves." Journal of Dairy Science 100:6429-6441 #8 August 2017