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      Effect of castration method and the provision of local anesthesia on plasma cortisol, scrotal circumference, growth, and feed intake of bull calves.

      Journal of animal science

      pharmacology, Anesthesia, Local, veterinary, Anesthetics, Local, Animals, Cattle, growth & development, metabolism, physiology, Eating, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, administration & dosage, Hydrocortisone, blood, Injections, Subcutaneous, Lidocaine, Male, Orchiectomy, methods, Random Allocation, Scrotum, anatomy & histology, Serum Albumin

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          To determine the effects of castration of calves, with or without local anesthesia, on plasma cortisol, scrotal circumference, ADG, and ADFI, 56 Friesian bulls (5.5 mo of age; mean +/- SE BW = 173 +/- 2 kg) were randomly assigned to each of seven treatments: 1) control (CON); 2) s.c. injection of .1 mg of a human serum albumin-GnRH conjugate with DEAE-dextran adjuvant (HSA-GnRH); 3) burdizzo castration without local anesthetic (BURD); 4) burdizzo castration following local anesthetic administration (BURD + LA); 5) surgical castration without local anesthetic (SURG); 6) surgical castration following local anesthetic administration (SURG + LA); and 7) local anesthetic administration alone (LAA). Blood samples for cortisol analyses were taken via jugular catheter from -2 to 10 h and at 24, 48, and 72 h relative to treatment. Average daily feed intakes were recorded for 5-d periods and calves weighed at 7-d intervals before and after treatment. Local anesthetic alone had no effect (P > .10) on any variable. The HSA-GnRH calves had elevated (P < .05) plasma cortisol from 2 to 6 h compared with CON calves. Peak plasma cortisol was elevated (P < .01) in BURD, BURD + LA, SURG, and SURG + LA compared with CON calves. The SURG calves (46.0 ng/mL) had higher (P < .03) peak cortisol than BURD (31.4 ng/mL) and SURG + LA (35.4 ng/mL) calves. There was no difference in peak cortisol between BURD and BURD + LA (26.5 ng/mL) calves. The ADG from d 0 to 7 was reduced (P < .05) in calves in BURD + LA, SURG, and SURG + LA treatments (-.01, -.83 and -.24 kg, respectively) compared with CON calves (.54 kg). The ADFI were reduced (P < .05) in BURD and BURD + LA calves during d 1 to 5 and in BURD + LA, SURG, and SURG + LA calves during d 6 to 10 compared with CON calves. The scrotal circumferences of BURD and BURD + LA calves were greater (P < .05) than those of CON calves for 7- and 35-d periods post-castration, respectively. Castration induced increases in cortisol and decreases in ADG and ADFI. Surgical castration induced a greater plasma cortisol response than burdizzo castration, and the administration of local anesthetic reduced the cortisol response of surgical castrates but was less effective for burdizzo castrates.

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