There is a critical need for safe and effective analgesic treatments to address pain resulting from surgical husbandry procedures in livestock. Piglet castration results in acute pain and stress to the animal; however, it is performed globally on millions of piglets annually, often without any analgesia what‐so‐ever. Tri‐Solfen® (Animal Ethics Pty Ltd, Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia) is a combination local anaesthetic and antiseptic formulation which, applied topically to wounds, has proven effective, and is registered for use to alleviate pain associated with castration (and other wounds) in lambs and calves in Australia and New Zealand. It is also reported to be effective to reduce pain in piglets following castration.
This randomised, blinded, placebo‐controlled study examined the safety and efficacy of the formulation, administered via an adapted wound instillation method, to control pain both during and following piglet castration.
Piglets received Tri‐Solfen or placebo, instilled to the wound immediately following skin incision. A 30 s wait period was then observed prior to completing castration. Pain mitigation was assessed by grading nociceptive resistance movements and piglet vocal response during castration, as well as by grading response to mechanical sensory stimulation of the wound (von Frey and needlestick) following castration.
There was a significant reduction in nociceptive motor and vocal response during castration and in response to mechanical sensory wound stimulation up to and including 2 h following castration. There were no adverse events.