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Practical Alternatives for Managing Castration Pain in Piglets

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by Ken Engele on May 1, 2018

The objective of this project was to identify which analgesics will provide optimal pain relief to piglets; at what age castration should be performed to minimize stress and production losses in piglets; determine if the timing of drug administration affects piglets’ pain responses following castration and whether provision of oral sucrose prior to an analgesic can provide measureable benefits to pigs during the initial pain of castration. The first study evaluated the effectiveness of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) on post-castration pain. The second  compared the influence of age at castration (3 days vs 10 days) on piglet welfare. Initial behavioural results from these two experiments found no significant differences in chute navigation times among the treatments studied. In study 2, the expected differences between sham handled and castrated piglets were not found, and no benefits of drug treatment were observed even though drugs were administered 15 minutes prior to testing.

Practical Alternatives for Managing Castration Pain

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