Patent Focuses on Alleviating Pain in Cattle Undergoing Dehorning, Castration

The patent, awarded to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, aims to alleviate chronic pain and improve performance of cattle undergoing dehorning or castration.


A U.S. patent was recently awarded to the Kansas State University Research Foundation for technology that aims to alleviate chronic pain and improve performance of cattle undergoing dehorning or castration.

The patent is for research conducted while at Kansas State University by former faculty member Hans Coetzee, BVSc, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVCP, now a professor of clinical pharmacology at Iowa State University, and Butch KuKanich, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVCP, associate professor of anatomy and physiology at Kansas State University.

The patent covers administering meloxicam alone or administering a combination of meloxicam and gabapentin to help alleviate acute and chronic pain and improve the performance of cattle.

Researchers found that combinations of meloxicam and gabapentin improved the welfare of cattle by reducing the severity of lameness. Meloxicam alone improved weight gain after dehorning and reduced the incidence of bovine respiratory disease after castration.

“Once meloxicam was orally administered to beef cattle prior to these common procedures, the cattle gained more weight and had slower incidence of bovine respiratory disease because it allowed them to be more comfortable and less stressed,” Dr. KuKanich said.

A significant benefit of this patented technology is that it reduces reliance on antibiotics to treat and control diseases in cattle, according to Kansas State University. This reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance selection and has positive implications for both human and animal health, the university further noted.

U.S. Patent No. 8,791,105, “Methods for Alleviating Chronic Pain and Improving Performance of Cattle Undergoing Dehorning or Castration,” is available to license.

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