Ark Veterinary Centre

Medicine Matters– Pain Relief

Sep 1, 2020

If you were to wake up one morning with a sore head (maybe you had too many lemonades the night before); or perhaps you twisted your ankle– what would you reach for from your medicine cupboard at home? Antibiotics? (probably not) Ibuprofen? Paracetamol? (more than likely!).

Ibuprofen and paracetamol work by reducing the temperature you experience with a fever and block pain receptors in the body. NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatories) such as Meloxidyl, Ketofen,Allevenix and Carprieve are similar to ibuprofen in humans. They act byreducing an animals temperature and therefore making them feel better and recover quicker. They also relieve pain associated with lameness, calving, disbudding, castrating and dehorning.

Medicine Matters– Pain ReliefIt is widely accepted that cattle experience pain in both a physical and behavioural sense. You do not have to delve deep into the literature to find studies that support justifying the use of non-steroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDs) to prevent and treat pain and inflammation. Assuming they are used appropriately, NSAIDs can decrease suffering,increase productivity and help reduce the reliance on antimicrobials –something we should all be focusing on due to increasing antimicrobialresistance concerns.



Dose: 2.5ml/100kg bodyweight

Route: under the skin or in the vein

Length of action: ~48-72 hours

Withdrawal: 15 days meat 5 days milk

Ideal for: calves with pneumonia, disbudding and castrating



Dose: 1ml/33kg bodyweight

Route: in the muscle or in the vein

Length of action: 24 hours

Withdrawal: zero milk withdrawal and meat withdrawal is one day following IV and 4 days following IM injection

Ideal for: lactating animals as zero milk withdrawal and lame cows. These products are not licensed in sheep.


However, they are applicable for alieving pain in sheep associated with painful procedures e.g bad lambing or lameness. The use of NSAIDs has huge welfare benefits for animals and is widely encouraged.