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Evaluating pain and skull injury associated with disbudding methods

M. N. Hempstead, J. R. Waas, and others

Veterinary Journal (2018) 239, 42-47

doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2018.08.004

• What did the research find?

Caustic paste and cryosurgical disbudding resulted in greater acute pain sensitivity than cautery disbudding; however, cautery disbudding has the potential to cause injury to the skull if performed incorrectly.

• How was it conducted?

Two-hundred-and-eighty kid goats reared for meat were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: sham-handling disbudding (n=70), cautery disbudding (n=70), cryosurgical disbudding (n=70), or caustic paste disbudding (n=70). A pain sensitivity test was carried out 15 minutes before the treatment and one hour after the treatment. It was measured using a digital pressure algometer which was applied to four locations around each horn bud. The amount of pressure a kid tolerated before it withdrew its head was measured in kilograms of force. Skull/brain injury was assessed at …

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