Reynolds, K., Johnson, R., Brown, J. et al. 2020. Assessing pain control efficacy of meloxicam and ketoprofen when compounded with iron dextran in nursing piglets using a navigation chute. Animals 10(7), 1237.
The efficacy of analgesics such as meloxicam and ketoprofen to control pain in piglets when mixed with iron dextran (ID) before injection is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare perceived pain in castrated piglets treated 1 h before castration with either of these drugs alone, or when mixed with ID, by observing the time it takes for piglets to navigate a chute. Piglets were divided into seven treatment groups (n = 25 piglets per treatment group) including castration with analgesia (meloxicam or ketoprofen), castration with analgesic plus ID, castration without analgesic or ID, sham handled and given ID, and sham handled alone. Piglets were placed in a short chute and their time to navigate the chute was recorded at four timepoints following castration. Piglets given meloxicam or ketoprofen, with or without ID did not differ from each other in their chute navigation times. Additionally, these piglets did not differ from treatment groups that were not castrated. Piglets castrated without analgesia had significantly longer navigation times. These results indicate that meloxicam or ketoprofen, whether mixed with ID prior to injection or not, provide similar analgesic efficacy.