Livestock/Large Animal Disbudding

If you keep and care for livestock, the decision of whether or not to disbud your animals can be a difficult one to make. Disbudding has many advantages, but it also comes with some drawbacks and has no regulatory guidance in the United States.
At Adobe Veterinary Center, our livestock veterinarians provide guidance, instruction, and assistance with disbudding, and we can help you determine the best course of action regarding the safe and responsible management of your livestock.

What Is Disbudding?

Disbudding is a procedure performed on kid goats to ensure their horns will not develop. This procedure is typically performed on kids two weeks of age or younger. After two weeks of age, the developing horn tissue will have attached to the skull and is more difficult to remove.

The Benefits of Disbudding Livestock

If there were not several benefits associated with disbudding livestock, no one would go through trouble or risk putting their animals through any pain. However, there are several advantages to dehorning livestock which include:

Drawbacks of Disbudding Livestock

The primary drawback of disbudding livestock is that the process – Although Adobe Veterinary Center uses all precautions – the animals can still experience pain and pose a risk of infection. The process can be further complicated when large, fully developed horns also encompass part of an animal’s frontal sinus cavities. Adobe Veterinary Center will not remove these due to increased pain and infection risks.

Determining Whether Disbudding Is Right for Your Animals

At Adobe Veterinary Center, our livestock veterinarians can assess each of your animals individually to help you determine the best course of action to improve the safety of your farm and the health of your animals while also taking steps to maximize your return on investment.
We strongly encourage our clients who raise livestock with horns to disbud their animals at the youngest age possible. However, when disbudding is no longer possible, there are several methods for tipping (removing the outer tip of horns) animals. We can help you determine the best disbudding method to use, in addition to assisting with anesthetics and analgesics to minimize pain. Plus, we can consult with you regarding the use of vaccinations and antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection following a disbudding procedure.
To learn more about disbudding or to schedule an appointment with a livestock veterinarian in Tucson, we welcome you to contact Adobe Veterinary Center today.