Effectiveness of a non-surgical alternative to the Mules operation in sheep

Levot, G. W., Rothwell, J. T., Sales, N., Dawson, K. L. and Lloyd, J. B. (2009) Effectiveness of a non-surgical alternative to the Mules operation in sheep. Australian Veterinary Journal, 87 4: 142-147. doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.2009.00409.x

Author Levot, G. W.
Rothwell, J. T.
Sales, N.
Dawson, K. L.
Lloyd, J. B.
Title Effectiveness of a non-surgical alternative to the Mules operation in sheep
Journal name Australian Veterinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-0423
Publication date 2009-04
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2009.00409.x
Open Access Status
Volume 87
Issue 4
Start page 142
End page 147
Total pages 6
Editor Anne Jackson
Place of publication United Kingdom, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 0707 Veterinary Sciences
Abstract Objective To measure changes to the perineal bare area, local tissue reaction and healing responses of young sheep, following intradermal administration of cetrimide and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), with and without ethanol, to the breech and tail. Method A needle-less injector was used to deposit formulations containing 40 g/L cetrimide and 30 g/L PVP (group 2) or 20 g/L cetrimide, 30 g/L PVP and 15 g/L ethanol (group 3), within the dermis of the tail and the region surrounding the perineal bare breech area of groups (N = 8) of Merino weaner sheep. The dimensions of the perineal bare area (length, width and diagonal distances left and right) and tail width were recorded before and at intervals after treatment for 60 days. Observations of swelling and bruising and scab formation at the treatment sites were recorded for up to 35 days after treatment. Rectal temperatures were monitored for up to 35 days after treatment and bodyweight for up to 60 days after treatment. An untreated control group (group 1) was included. Results Comparison of day -3 and day 35 measurement data showed that both treated groups had significantly (P < 0.05) wider breech bare areas compared to the untreated controls and that group 2 sheep had significantly (P < 0.05) longer breech bare areas compared to group 3 sheep or to the untreated controls, which were not significantly different. At this time scabs were still firmly in place on many treated sheep. At day 35 there was no increase in tail bare area caused by either treatment. By day 60 there was no significant difference between the treated and control groups in either the breech or tail regions indicating that the changes present at day 35, were not permanent. Mean weight gain in the groups throughout the 60-day interval was unaffected by treatment. Intradermal treatment was associated with a significant elevation in body temperature. This effect lasted for 3 days and was associated with signs of discomfort and depressed appearance in at least some of the treated sheep. Bruising was mild to severe in all treated sheep within two days of treatment but was not evident in any sheep by day 21. Mild to moderate swelling was also associated with treatment but was not uniform across sheep in the groups. The tail of one sheep was severely swollen for several days. Swelling remained obvious in most treated sheep until day 14 but was not present at day 21. Conclusion Under the conditions of this study intradermal injection of cetrimide had no permanent effect on bare area measurements on the breech or the amount of wool-bearing skin on the tail. It also caused signs of discomfort and pain that raise welfare concerns.
Keyword cetrimide
mulesing alternative
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:27:36 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Veterinary Science