Weight gain, behavioral and cortisol changes after orchiectomy with or without local anaesthesia in piglets
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of intratesticular local anesthesia on weight gain and behavioral and cortisol changes in piglets submitted to castration. Study design was a randomized controlled trial. Twenty-nine male Landrace crossbred piglets aged 3 to 6 days were used. The piglets were randomly divided into two groups: orchiectomy with anesthesia (A, n = 15) and orchiectomy without anesthesia (NOA, n = 14). Piglets in the A and NOA groups were treated with 0.5 mL of intratesticular 2% lidocaine with a vasoconstrictor in each testicle and 0.5 mL of intratesticular 0.9% sodium chloride, respectively. Blood samples were collected from all animals immediately after surgery and at 3 and 6 days postoperatively for measurement of the serum cortisol concentration. Behavior was assessed daily for 6 days by two observers blinded to the treatment. Weight was measured at the same time as cortisol measurement. Analysis of variance followed by the Student-Newman-Keuls test was used to investigate differences in time within and between the two groups. Mean times of six evaluations done for 90 minutes during 6 days of each behavior were compared by Tukey t test. The level of statistical significance was 5%. The serum cortisol concentration was higher immediately after surgery than at 3 and 6 days postoperatively in both groups. Weight gain was greater at 3 and 6 days postoperatively in the A group than in the NOA group. Intratesticular local anesthesia before castration in piglets is technically practical, is in accordance with good welfare practice, and improves short-term weight gain in piglets submitted to castration.