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Title: Effect of surgical castration with or without meloxicam on the acute inflammatory response in yearling beef bulls

item ROBERTS, SHELBY - West Texas A & M University
item HUGHES, HEATHER - West Texas A & M University
item Sanchez, Nicole
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item POWELL, JEREMY - University Of Arkansas
item HUBBELL, DONALD - University Of Arkansas
item RICHESON, JOHN - West Texas A & M University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2014
Publication Date: 7/25/2014
Citation: Roberts, S.L., Hughes, H.D., Sanchez, N.C., Carroll, J.A., Powell, J.G., Hubbell, D.S., Richeson, J.T. 2014. Effect of surgical castration with or without meloxicam on the acute inflammatory response in yearling beef bulls. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 92(E-Suppl. 1):14. Abstract #35.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pain management and welfare are increasingly prevalent concerns within animal agriculture and oral analgesics may alleviate the pain associated with castration. This study was conducted to elucidate the effects of surgical castration on the acute inflammatory response and immunomodulation and whether concurrent oral administration of meloxicam (1 miligram/kilogram body weight) ameliorates these responses. On day -1, crossbred bull calves (n=31; initial body weight = 227.4 ± 10.3 kilograms) were fitted with indwelling jugular cannulas and rectal temperature probes, placed into individual stanchions, and assigned randomly to 1 of 3 treatments. Treatment application occurred at hour 0 and consisted of: 1) intact bulls with sham castration (CON), 2) surgical castration (CAS), and 3) surgical castration with oral meloxicam (MEL). Blood samples were collected at 0.5-hour intervals from hour -2 to 4 hours, 1.0 hour intervals from hour 4 to 8 hours, and 12-hour intervals from hour 12 to 72 hours. Serum was analyzed for cortisol and haptoglobin (Hp) concentrations using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Whole blood was analyzed for complete blood cell counts at -2, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 hours. Post-castration rectal temperature was greatest for MEL, intermediate for CAS, and least for CON (P=0.01). Serum cortisol was increased (P<0.001) for CAS and MEL compared to CON during the post-castration period. At 0.5 and 1.5 hours, cortisol was greater in CAS and MEL than CON; whereas, at 2 and 2.5 hours CAS was greatest, MEL was intermediate and CON was least (treatment x time; P<0.001). Total white blood cell (P=0.04), lymphocyte (P=0.02) and monocyte (P=0.002) counts were greatest for CAS, intermediate for MEL and least for CON. Administration of MEL reduced (P=0.002) eosinophil counts during the 72-hour post-castration period when compared to CON and CAS. The change in serum Hp, relative to baseline values, was reduced for MEL at 36 (P<0.01) and 60 hours (P=0.03) and the overall Hp concentration was least for MEL (P<0.001). Oral administration of meloxicam altered the acute inflammatory response in castrates, as evidenced by a reduction in Hp and certain leukocyte concentrations. Nevertheless, further research is needed to determine if these alterations might impede convalescence from the castration procedure.