News & Advice

Reducing inflammation and pain this calving

Jul 30, 2019 | Calving, Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare

Humans have known for many thousands of years that reducing pain associated with inflammation was a really good way of recovering from injury and illness. The exact same holds true for our cows and calves. 
As in Humans, cows and calves experience pain and inflammation and this natural inflammatory response kicks in much like ours when we are sick or injured. Sometimes the inflammation is obvious to see in the form of redness, swelling, tenderness, heat and loss of function all of which can result from an assisted calving. Sometimes the inflammation is not so easy to see; for example when a calf scours the internal inflammation can become so painful that calves cease to drink milk. 
This pain associated with inflammation puts even the most stoic individuals under pressure. As a result, these individuals will eat less therefore produce or grow less, leading to them moving slower and cover less distance. What can make a big difference to this situation is using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which acts to reduce the inflammation and pain. 
We all want to speed up the recovery process to get every individual in tip top shape. A farmer that uses a NSAID where needed puts it well. 
“A cow in our herd gives us $10 a day worth of milk. So it’s important to us that every cow is back grazing and in full production as quickly as possible.” 
With this, many farmers are stocking NSAIDs in their calving kits routinely because they can see how much faster the girls bounce back when we combat the pain, inflammation and fever. 
The uses for NSAIDs don’t end at calving! 
In cows suitable times to use NSAIDs include: calving, down cows, lameness and mastitis. For calves suitable uses include: disbudding, scours, pneumonia and sick calves. 
We should also be considering every time we make a treatment plan for an individual that requires antibiotics if a NSAID should also be used. In mastitis cases we see increased cure rates with the use of NSAID in conjunction with the antibiotic treatment. With proof like that why wouldn’t you want to help your girls out when they are off colour? 


Other Anexa resources you may find helpful:

When to use Anti-inflammatories 

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