One of our key aims when working with dairy cattle is to optimise production whilst minimising costs. Pain relief plays a very big part in this and Hannah briefly takes us through why.

The most critical time for dairy cows falls around calving, where stress levels are high and feed intakes often drop as a result. Ensuring that we then get intakes up as quickly as possible as soon after calving is imperative. This means we avoid post calving complications such as negative energy balance (where the cow uses her own fat reserves for energy) and consequentially disease issues such as retained foetal membranes, metritis and ketosis.

Pain Relief

There is a wide body evidence now that suggests using non steroidal anti- inflammatories (NSAIDs) can help to reduce stress (as measured by cortisol in the blood), increase feed intakes and improve performance, up to an impressive 225kg per lactation if given to 1st lactation animals at the point of calving. However, sometimes the decision to use a NSAID can be complicated by milk withdrawal.

We stock several different NSAIDs, including a new zero milk withdrawal long acting pain relief that could help benefit these cows. This kind of product is ideal for those fresh calving cows that may need some support, but equally a great option to consider for any lame cows treated that don’t need an antibiotic for the lesion found. Please speak to your vet for more information about which NSAID is most appropriate for different conditions.

The key things to remember are that if we can make a cow feel more comfortable, she’s more likely to head to the feed face. If she does this she is more likely to have sufficient energy to fight off infection, optimise her production and prepare herself to get back in calf again. It’s a win, win…. And if in doubt just remember… No Pain, More Gains!