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Effect of meloxicam on lying down behaviour in cows following caesarean section

A. C. Barrier, T. M. Coombs, C. M. Dwyer, M. J. Haskell, L. Goby

THE measurement of pain in animals can be difficult. It has been suggested that cows with abdominal pain lie down less often and for shorter periods compared with those without abdominal pain. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the administration of meloxicam before caesarean section in cows affected lying down behaviour following surgery.

The study was conducted over nine months in eight veterinary practices in France. Beef cows that required caesarean section were enrolled in the study. Cows were randomly injected with either meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg bodyweight) or a placebo approximately seven minutes before surgery. Local anaesthesia was also given and caesareans were performed with the cow standing. A pedometer was fitted to each cow at the time of surgery to monitor standing/lying behaviour and cows were followed up for 10 days after surgery. A total of 110 cows (63 in the meloxicam group and 47 in the placebo group) were included in the final analysis.

Cows …

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