Background: Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are increasingly used to reduce postpartum pain in dystocic cows and calves, the positive effects of NSAIDs on the well-being of the animals are still not proved. Objectives: In this study, the effects of a single-dose NSAID-treatment were investigated on well-being indicators (i.e., heart rate variability and standing time) in new-born calves (n = 24). Materials and Methods: The following parameters were investigated within the first 48 hours of life: (1) vitality scores (between 0 and 12) immediately after delivery and 2, and 24 hours thereafter; (2) time spent with standing during the first 2, 6,12, 24 and 48 hours of life, respectively; (3) sympathetic and parasympathetic indices of heart rate variability calculated for lying posture. Calves were allocated into groups as follows: Group 1: low vitality (between 2 and 7 scores, n = 8); Group 2: low vitality (between scores 2 and 7 + NSAID (single dose, 5 mg/ml meloxicam, 0,5 mg/kg live body weight, n - 8); Group 3: excellent vitality (between 10 and 12 scores, n = 8). Calves from Groups 1 and 2 were born from dystocia. Results and Discussion: Calves with excellent vitality spent more time in standing than calves in the other groups for all studied periods (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Based on lower values of the root mean square of the successive R-R intervals and the high frequency component of heart rate variability calves from Group 1 exhibited lower vagal activity either than animals that received NSAID treatment or animals with excellent vitality following the first 12 hours. It indicates a greater postnatal stress load in calves with low vitality and suggest that NSAID treatment is successful in reducing stress/pain after a difficult calving in new-borns. Time spent in standing showed a strong positive linear correlation with vitality scores for both 2 (r = 0.67, p = 0.012) and 24 hours after delivery (r = 0.79, p = 0.01). Based on our results, time spent in standing may be an appropriate indicator of vitality in new-born calves. Single dose of NSAID decreases stress and pain caused by dystocia and increases time spent with standing in new-born calves during the first 24 hours of life.
|Translated title of the contribution||Effect of single-dose NSAID treatment on cardiac autonomic activity and standing time of dairy calves born from dystocia Preliminary results|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2017|
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