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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
WHY SHOULD WOOLGROWERS CONSIDER USING PAIN RELIEF PRODUCTS? The supply chains for both wool and meat are becoming increasingly interested in their suppliers’ husbandry practices. On farm adoption of pain relief for mulesing has been rapid. In the ten years since Tri- Solfen® was first registered, 75 per cent of Merinos mulesed now receive pain relief. Pain relief with a specific claim for knife castration and knife tail docking was first registered for use in 2016 and adoption rates will be monitored over the coming years. Pain relief with a specific claim for ring castration and ring tail docking is not yet commercially available. R&D continues for a technique called Numnuts® which injects local anaesthetic just above the ring. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ANALGESIC AND ANAESTHETIC PAIN RELIEF TREATMENTS? Analgesics provide relief from pain while retaining most sensory function. There are a range of products with a large variation in the intensity and duration of pain relief provided. Active compounds can take 10 to 15 minutes to reach optimum blood concentration and they require the pain enzymes to be created at the site of tissue damage before they can act and the release of pain enzymes can also be slow to ramp up. They last for varying times depending on how quickly the active compound is metabolised and excreted. • Mild to moderate pain relief: (a) Paracetamol, also known as Acetaminophen, PAIN RELIEF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS There has been large scale adoption of post-operative pain relief (Tri-Solfen®) during the past ten years. New pre-operative products Buccalgesic® and Metacam 20® were released in 2016. Here we provide answers to some frequently asked questions about pain relief. (b) Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as aspirin, meloxicam (Buccalgesic® and Metacam 20®) and carprofen, and (c) mild Opioids such as codeine. • Strong pain relief, Opioids such as morphine. Opioids act on the nervous system, rather than on the enzyme production at the site of tissue damage. They can produce hallucinations and can be addictive. (There are also other types of drugs such as Corticosteroids that are injected to a site to reduce inflammation, along with Anti-anxiety and Anti-depressant drugs that also provide pain relief.) Anaesthetics block pain and sensory function is lost. There are three main types: local, regional and general anaesthetics, most taking from 2 to 10 minutes to take effect. They typically do not provide long- lasting pain relief. • Local (eg dental) and regional (eg epidural) anaesthetics are administered subcutaneously or topically and desensitise a defined location. (Tri-Solfen®) • General anaesthetics create a medically induced coma, a state of unconsciousness and are administered by injection or inhaled. The patient cannot move, feel pain, remember and breathing may need to be assisted. FOR WHOLE FLOCK TREATMENTS, ARE ANAESTHETIC OR ANALGESIC, PRE-OPERATIVE OR POST- OPERATIVE PRODUCTS BETTER? There are no black and white answers with so many variables and factors to consider including: • availability of a product to livestock producers and veterinarians • availability of veterinary prescription and oversight • throughput required per day • restraint requirements • time and method of treatment • ability of the animal to breathe unassisted during treatment • time and supervision required post treatment • ability of the lamb to mother up • type of husbandry practice and method used • likelihood of adverse impact to humans • degree of pain relief provided • practicality and cost. Welfare trials offer the most valuable information about how effective the treatment is, yet these still require an overall subjective expert assessment of the 30 or so measures used, because no single measure tells the whole story. For specific advice contact your veterinarian. WHAT PURPOSES HAS THE APVMA APPROVED THE PAIN RELIEF PRODUCTS FOR? The Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) has registered products for the following purposes: • Tri-Solfen® for pain relief following mulesing, castration and tail docking • Metacam 20® for alleviation of pain and inflammation • Buccalgesic® for alleviation of pain and inflammation for castration and tail docking. Buccalgesic® being applied to the internal cheek of a lamb. Metacam 20®, a subcutaneous injection high on the neck behind the ear. Numnuts® protoype applicator; R&D continues. Tri-Solfen®, a topical local anaesthetic and antiseptic gel spray. 34 ON FARM
In the Shops - March 2017