Burkemper, M. C., Pairis-Garcia, M. D., Moraes, L. E. et al. 2020. Effects of oral meloxicam and topical lidocaine on pain associated behaviors of piglets undergoing surgical castration. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 23(2), 209-218.
The objective of this study was to find a practical means of reducing pain associated with surgical castration by evaluating the effects of oral meloxicam and topical lidocaine, separately and in combination, on behavioral indicators of pain in piglets. Two hundred thirty-five piglets were surgically castrated between three and seven days of age. Immediately following castration, piglets received one of four treatments: (1) No pain mitigation (C; control; n = 58); (2) NSAID only (M; meloxicam; n = 59); (3) Topical anesthetic (L; lidocaine spray; n = 60); or (4) NSAID and topical anesthetic (X; meloxicam and lidocaine spray; n = 59). Behaviors were recorded by direct observation of individual piglets using five-minute scan samples over a five-hour period, for three days post-castration. Results of the experiment demonstrate the administration of oral meloxicam and topical lidocaine spray at the time of castration under the current methods did not mitigate pain associated with the procedure (P = 0.09; C: 2.1 ± 0.1, L: 2.4 ± 0.1, M: 2.1 ± 0.1 and X: 2.1 ± 0.1).