This paper briefly reviews methods for analgesia of the velvet antler. Injection of 2% lignocaine hydrochloride (L) provides the most rapid and repeatable analgesia when given as a "high" dose ring block (1 ml/cm pedicle circumference). A "low site" regional nerve block has a long latency and low repeatability while a "high site" regional block also has a long latency but gives more repeatable analgesia after 4 minutes. Comparison of the dynamics of the alternative local anaesthetics showed L to have a mean analgesia onset time of 31 seconds and duration of 88 minutes. Mepivacaine (M) had a similar onset time, but a duration of 270 minutes, while two formulations of bupivacaine (B) had onset times averaging 48 and 87 seconds, and duration 270 and 460 minutes, respectively. Combinations of L+M, L+B and M+B had onset times equivalent to the most rapidly-acting component and duration equivalent to the longest-acting component. Electronic analgesia provides insufficient and non-repeatable analgesia and its application is a noxious stimulus in itself. Compression bands are approved in yearling stags in New Zealand. The effectiveness and possible aversiveness of high pressure compression bands on adult stags is under investigation. Pain and its control after antler removal, are yet to be studied comprehensively.

PR, Wilson, MM Bartels, KJ Stafford, and DJ Mellor

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 62, Palmerston North, 372-375, 2002
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