Bergamasco, L., Coetzee, J. F., Gehring, R., Murray, L., Song, T., Mosher, R. A. Effect of intravenous sodium salicylate administration prior to castration on plasma cortisol and electroencephalography parameters in calves. J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap. 34, 565–576.
Nociception is an unavoidable consequence of many routine management procedures such as castration in cattle. This study investigated electroencephalography (EEG) parameters and cortisol levels in calves receiving intravenous sodium salicylate in response to a castration model. Twelve Holstein calves were randomly assigned to the following groups: (i) castrated, untreated controls, (ii) 50 mg/kg sodium salicylate IV precastration, were blood sampled at 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 240, 360, and 480 min postcastration. The EEG recording included baseline, castration, immediate recovery (0–5 min after castration), middle recovery (5–10 min after castration), and late recovery (10–20 min after castration). Samples were analyzed by competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay and fluorescence polarization immunoassay for cortisol and salicylate, respectively. EEG visual inspection and spectral analysis were performed. Statistical analyses included anova repeated measures and correlations between response variable. No treatment effect was noted between the two groups for cortisol and EEG measurements, namely an attenuation of acute cortisol response and EEG desynchronization in sodium salicylate group. Time effects were noted for EEG measurements, cortisol and salicylates levels. Significant correlations between cortisol and EEG parameters were noted. These findings have implications for designing effective analgesic regimens, and they suggest that EEG can be useful to monitor pain attributable to castration.