Trials of the drug ketoprofen in cattle struggling with digital dermatitis have proven it may be used as an efficient painkiller, serving to to take care of milk yields.

The analysis work was carried out by Ceva Animal Well being in a bid to determine whether or not ache aid might assist stem widespread financial losses related to cattle lameness.

See additionally: Prime tricks to restrict digital dermatitis in heifers

Lameness prices

The problem is without doubt one of the most vital welfare, well being and manufacturing issues in UK dairy herds, resulting in vital prices although yield loss, mastitis and infertility, in accordance with Ceva.

That’s backed up by AHDB Dairy figures which counsel every case of lameness prices milk producers £2.20 a day.

For a 200-cow herd with lameness ranges at 15% that may equate to greater than £24,000 a 12 months. In a herd with 25% lameness, that determine jumps to £40,000 yearly.

Ceva’s ruminant veterinary adviser, Katherine Timms, added that digital dermatitis was undoubtedly painful for affected cattle.

However she stated the examine had clearly revealed {that a} ketoprofen product – Ketofen 10% – had helped cut back ache ranges and improved mobility scores in cattle.

Vet and Ceva herd well being consultancy director Nick Bell defined that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) like ketoprofen had been already extensively used as painkillers.

These cut back irritation and produce down a excessive temperature, and are efficiently used for treating claw lesions, Mr Bell stated.

However this examine is the primary actual perception into how necessary NSAIDs are for any lesion, together with digital dermatitis, notably if the cow is displaying indicators of lameness, he prompt.

“This analysis supplies a transparent welfare justification for giving NSAIDs to dairy cows with energetic digital dermatitis lesions, with vital milk yield advantages.”

The trial


In the course of the examine, 158 cows with energetic digital dermatitis had been handled with a topical utility of oxytetracycline spray. One group additionally acquired an intramuscular injection of a product containing ketoprofen at 3mg/kg. Cows, together with some which had been already displaying lameness, had been mobility-scored simply earlier than they had been handled after which once more one week later.


The outcomes prompt that every one animals within the untreated group had been 2.57 occasions extra prone to be lame on the second mobility rating in contrast with those who acquired the painkiller Ketofen 10%.

However untreated cows that had been lame on the first scoring had been greater than 20 occasions extra prone to keep lame per week post-treatment in contrast with cows handled with Ketofen 10%.

The examine additionally revealed a profit in milk yield. On common, handled animals gave practically three litres extra, however freshly calved cows which had been lame at prognosis gave greater than 10 litres extra.

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