Practical Alternatives for Castration
The Canadian Code of Practice requires that swine producers provide analgesics to piglets at castration to help control post-procedural pain. However, complete information on the different analgesics available to control post-procedural pain, their effectiveness and optimized procedures for delivering pain control have not been identified. This project set out to identify which analgesics provide effective pain relief to piglets, at what age castration should be performed to minimize stress and production losses, and to determine how the timing of drug administration affects piglets’ pain responses following castration.
Results from two studies indicate lower cortisol concentrations are seen in sham castrates 45 minutes after treatment compared with pigs that were castrated with intermediate cortisol concentrations in piglets given annalgesic. This suggests that the analgesic, ketoprofen, has a positive influence on pain responses when given 30 minutes before castration.