Use of validated objective methods of locomotion characteristics and weight distribution for evaluating the efficacy of ketoprofen for alleviating pain in cows with limb pathologies
In veterinary practice pain alleviation plays a part in managing lameness. The aim of this randomized and placebo-controlled clinical study was to evaluate the effect of a single administration of ketoprofen on locomotion characteristics and weight distribution in cattle with foot (located up to and including the fetlock; n = 31) and (proximal to the fetlock; n = 10) pathologies. Cattle were randomly allocated to either the ketoprofen (group K; intravenous 3 mg/kg of body weight; n = 21) or an equivalent volume of isotonic sterile saline solution (group P; n = 20). Two accelerometers (400 Hz; kinematic outcome = stance phase duration; kinetic outcome = foot load and toe-off), a 4-scale weighing platform (weight distribution and SD of the weight) and a subjective locomotion score were measured before (baseline) and after 1 h and 18 h of treatment. All variables were expressed as differences across contralateral limbs, and the measurements at 1 h and 18 h were compared to the baseline. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine the differences between groups K and P. A logistic regression model with a binary outcome (0 = no improvement and 1 = improvement of the differences across the contralateral limbs over time) was calculated. Mean (± SD) of locomotion scores at baseline were not significantly different (P = 0.102) in group K (3.10 ± 0.80) as compared to group P (3.48 ± 0.64). Cattle of group K showed significantly lower differences across contralateral limbs at 1 h as compared to group P for the relative stance phase and the weight distribution. Only the treatment (P versus K) remained a significant factor in the model for relative stance phase (odds ratio (OR) = 6.5; 95% CI = 1.38-30.68) and weight distribution (OR = 6.36; 95% CI = 1.30-31.07). The effects of ketoprofen were evident in improving the differences across contralateral limbs-both for stance phase during walking and weight bearing during standing-after 1 h but not after 18 h of administration.