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Pain Control Information for Swine
Created on Jun 22, 2016


Canadian Pork Council

 

The National Farm Animal Care Council Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs requires that as of July 1, 2016 castration and tail-docking, performed at any age, must be done with analgesics to help control post-procedure pain. For castration performed after ten days of age both an anesthetic and an analgesic must be used to help with pain control.

  • Analgesic: A drug which relieves pain without eliminating sensation. Example is meloxicam.
  • Anesthetics: A drug which causes a reversible loss of sensation. Example is lidocaine.

The Canadian Pork Council requires that all producers registered on the CQA™ program adhere to the existing CQA™ Drug Use Policy and that all CQA™ Validators assess and verify their compliance to the program.

 

In Canada there are a number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that are approved for swine. These are the most practical drugs available for on-farm analgesia. This includes Anafen injectable solution, Banamine injectable solution, Ketoprofen V injectable solution, Metacam 5 mg/ml injectable solution and Metacam 20 mg/ml injectable solution. All of these products are prescription products for Veterinary Use Only. There are also a number of other NSAIDS labelled for cattle such as Meloxicam Oral Suspension, Acetylsalicylic Acid Bolus, Cronyxin injectable solution, Flunixin injectable solution and Flunazine injectable solution. All of these products are prescription products for Veterinary Use Only.

 

Metacam 5 mg/ml is the only NSAID labelled for swine for the relief of post-operative pain associated with minor soft tissue surgery.

 

In Canada, all NSAIDS labelled for food producing animals, including swine, are Prescription Products for Veterinary Use Only. All decisions to use NSAIDS and all protocols on their usage should involve a discussion between the producer and their licensed herd veterinarian with whom they have a valid Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR). Please note, all NSAIDS have toxicity warnings. All producers should consult their licensed herd veterinarian for further details and cautions, and all veterinarians should make these warnings clear to the producer.

 

For a veterinarian to write a prescription, they must have a valid Veterinary Client Patient Relationship with the producer. A legitimate VCPR is only considered to exist if medical records of the practice contain sufficient evidence of relevant and timely interaction between the veterinarian, animal owner and animal patients. The VCPR is documented evidence that the veterinarian has undertaken the steps necessary to establish medical need and consequently prescribe and subsequently dispense pharmaceuticals.

 

A treatment protocol is not a prescription and does not authorize dispensing of pharmaceuticals.

 

NSAIDS are approved for swine in Canada and the European Union for several conditions, including the relief of post-operative pain with minor soft tissue surgery. Previous research has shown that when meloxicam is injected before piglet castration, serum cortisol is reduced. Research has also shown that meloxicam is able to reduce behavioral signs that are associated with piglet distress at castration and following castration.

There are a number of options that may be considered for piglet analgesia associated with castration and tail-docking. The Canadian Pork Council reminds producers and veterinarians of the CQA™ Drug Use Policy as a guiding document in your future decisions.

Below are a few of the many options to discuss with your licensed herd veterinarian prior to implementing your analgesic program.

 

Piglets ≤ 10 days of age:

Option 1

  • Injection of Metacam 5
  • Administer 0.15 ml IM per piglet at castration and tail-docking

 

Option 2

  • Injection of Metacam 20 + Sterile Water
  • Mix 9 ml of Sterile Water with 1 ml of Metacam 20
  • Administer 0.5 ml IM per piglet at castration and tail-docking

 

Option 3

  • Orally administer Meloxicam Oral Suspension + Sterile Water
  • Mix 14 ml of Sterile Water with 1 ml of Meloxicam Oral Suspension
  • Administer 1.0 ml PO per piglet at castration and tail-docking

 

Piglets > 10 days of age:

Option 1

  • Injection of Metacam 5 + Lidocaine HCL 15 minutes prior to castration
  • Administer 0.15 ml IM per piglet at castration and tail-docking
  • Administer 1.0 ml in each of the testicles prior to castration and tail-docking

 

Option 2

  • Injection of Metacam 20 + Sterile Water + Lidocaine HCL 15 minutes prior to castration
  • Mix 9 ml of Sterile Water with 1 ml of Metacam 20
  • Administer 0.5 ml IM per piglet at castration and tail-docking
  • Administer 1.0 ml in each of the testicles prior to castration and tail-docking

 

Option 3

  • Orally administer Meloxicam Oral Suspension + Sterile Water + Lidocaine HCL 15 minutes prior to castration
  • Mix 14 ml of Sterile Water with 1 ml of Meloxicam Oral Suspension
  • Administer 1.0 ml PO per piglet at castration and tail-docking
  • Administer 1.0 ml in each of the testicles prior to castration and tail-docking

 

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