When to use: Use of pain relief is appropriate whenever an animal is in pain. Lameness is caused by pain in the foot, so when a sheep is lame, it is in pain.
Consult your vet for details about which medication to use.
How it works:
Pain relief medications such as Metacam block the pain receptors in the nervous system with synthetic imitations of the body’s pain signals. This way the actual pain signals can’t connect to the nervous system and create the sensation of pain. (diagrams, pictures)
There is currently not much research on pain relief in sheep, but using pain relief has been shown to improve welfare in other species of farm animal including cows and chickens.
Research papers about pain associated with lameness in sheep
- McLennan, K. M., Rebelo, C. J. B., Corke, M. J., Holmes, M. A., Leach, M. C. & Constantino-Casas, F. (2016) Development of a facial expression scale using footrot and mastitis as models of pain in sheep. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 176:19-26.
- Dolan, S., Hastie, P., Crossan, C. & Nolan, A. (2011) Co-Induction of Cyclooxyenase-2 and Early Growth Response Gene (Egr-1) in Spinal Cord in a Clinical Model of Persistent Inflammation and Hyperalgesia. Molecular Pain, 7:91.
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