The transition period is one of the most challenging times for dairy cattle. Previous research suggests that treatment of postpartum cows with anti-inflammatory drugs may decrease pain and inflammation, enhancing cow welfare and performance during this challenging period. However, these strategies involve numerous time-consuming interventions, which require extra labor and do not fit modern farm logistics. The objective of this experiment was to assess the effects of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) every 24 h for 2 d after calving on (1) daily milk yield, daily milk conductivity, and daily rumination during the first 60 days in milk (DIM), and 305-d mature-equivalent milk, milk fat, and milk protein yields, (2) body condition score, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and haptoglobin, and (3) incidence of clinical diseases during the first 60 DIM. Dairy cows (n = 246) from a dairy farm located in Pennsylvania were enrolled in this experiment. Cows were blocked by parity and assigned randomly to 1 of 2 treatments: (1) ASA (n = 121), in which cows received 2 treatments with ASA (200 mg/kg; 4 boluses), the first within 12 h after parturition and the second 24 h later; or (2) untreated (UNT; n = 125), in which cows remained untreated. Blood samples were collected at 30 ± 6 h, 7 ± 3 d, and 14 ± 3 d after calving to measure BHB and haptoglobin concentrations. Body condition score was assessed at enrollment, 7 ± 3 DIM, 14 ± 3 DIM, and 50 ± 10 DIM. Furthermore, incidences of diseases, daily rumination, daily milk yield, and daily milk conductivity during the first 60 DIM and 305-d mature-equivalent milk, milk fat, and milk protein yields were collected from on-farm computer records. The data were analyzed using mixed multiple linear and logistic regression models as a randomized complete block design. Multiparous cows treated with ASA produced 1.64 kg/d more milk compared with multiparous cows that remained untreated (ASA = 41.66 ± 0.88 kg/d; UNT = 40.02 ± 0.81 kg/d) during the first 60 DIM. There was no difference in daily milk conductivity and rumination between treatments. Cows treated with ASA had lower concentration of BHB (ASA = 1.16 ± 0.64 mmol/L; UNT = 1.23 ± 0.80 mmol/L) during the first 14 ± 3 DIM and had higher body condition score within the first 50 ± 10 DIM compared with cows that remained UNT. There were no differences in circulating concentrations of haptoglobin between treatments. These results support previous findings showing that the use of anti-inflammatory drugs after calving may increase milk production and affect the metabolic status of dairy cows.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology