Posted by Elizabeth Marvel on Mar 10, 2020 2:11:15 PM
Until polled genetics become more available in the dairy industry, dehorning is a necessary task on the farm. Dehorning is a painful process; therefore, it is necessary to provide pain management to the calf. Dehorning should be performed prior to eight weeks of age The younger the calf the faster they seem to recover from the procedure. You can offer pain management by Lidocaine blocking and offering a drug like Meloxicam. Lidocaine and Meloxicam are both very economical choices, just make sure you receive a prescription from your veterinarian.
Supplies needed to preform Lidocaine blocking:
- 2% Lidocaine
- 20-gauge 1 inch needle
- 10 cc syringe
The cornual nerve is located behind the eye and runs to the base of the horn. By administering a cornual nerve block prior to dehorning, you can control the acute pain during the procedure, and for a short time following the dehorning. One should also offer an analgesic pain medication to control the pain once the Lidocaine block wears off.
Steps to the procedure:
- Restrain the calf’s head
- Locate the boney ledge that allows you to place Lidocaine along the corneal nerve
- Insert needle with 5 cc of 2% Lidocaine filled syringe 2/3 up from the eye toward the horn bud
- Pull back on syringe plunger to ensure you are not in the vein
- Deliver 5 cc of Lidocaine
- Repeat on the other horn
Lidocaine blocking is also beneficial to the individual performing the procedure. When the calf’s pain is managed the procedure becomes much less of a physical task.
You may also view the video demonstration of Lidocaine blocking:
Topics: Calf Management