Analgesic drug administration and attitudes about analgesia in cattle among bovine practitioners in the United States.
ABSTRACT To determine current attitudes and practices related to pain and analgesia in cattle among US veterinarians in bovine practice and to identify factors associated with these attitudes and practices.
Web-based survey. Sample-3,019 US members of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) with e-mail addresses.
Veterinarians were invited via e-mail to participate in a Web-based survey. Respondents replied to questions related to pain and analgesia and supplied personal, professional, and demographic information. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed, and associations among various factors were examined.
666 surveys (25.5% response rate) were analyzed. Among common procedures and medical conditions of cattle listed on the survey, castration of dairy calves < 6 months old was subjectively estimated as causing the least pain; abdominal surgery, toxic mastitis, and dehorning of calves > 6 months old were assessed as causing the greatest pain. Respondents reported not providing analgesic drugs to approximately 70% of calves castrated at < 6 months of age. The most commonly administered analgesics were NSAIDs, local anesthetics, and α(2)-adrenergic receptor agonists. Significant associations were detected among respondent characteristics and pain ratings, percentages of cattle treated, and opinions regarding analgesia.
Results provide information on current attitudes and practices related to pain and analgesia in cattle among US veterinarians in bovine practice and can be considered in the development of policies and protocols for pain management in cattle. These data can be compared with those of future studies to examine changes over time.
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