The objective was to assess the effect of oral administration of acetylsalicylic acid after calving on the concentrations of substance P (SP), haptoglobin (HP), and cortisol in lactating dairy cows. Holstein dairy cows (n = 152) from 3 organic herds were included. At parturition, cows were blocked by parity [multiparous (MULT) and primiparous (PRIM)] and calving ease [eutocia (EUT) and dystocia (DYS)] and were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: aspirin (ASP; n = 76), in which within 12 h after parturition cows received 4 treatments with acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg/kg; 2 boluses) at 12-h intervals, or placebo (PLC; n = 76), in which within 12 h after parturition cows received 4 consecutive treatments with gelatin capsules (2 capsules) containing water 12 h apart. Blood samples were collected immediately before treatment and at 12, 24, 36, 48, and 168 h (7 DIM) for assessment of circulating concentration of SP, HP, and cortisol. Based on farm records, cows were classified in the following clinical disease categories: no clinical disease event (NO-EVT), a single clinical disease event (SI-EVT), and more than 1 clinical disease event (MU-EVT). The study data were analyzed as a randomized complete block design using mixed multiple linear and logistic regression models. With regard to HP, there was a tendency for an interaction between treatment and parity, where MULT cows treated with ASP had lower concentration of HP compared with MULT cows treated with PLC (ASP = 124.33 ± 6.83 µg/mL; PLC = 143.9 ± 7.24 µg/mL). Analysis by calving ease showed that cows with DYS had higher concentrations of HP (DYS = 159.17 ± 5.97 µg/mL; EUT = 138.72 ± 6.22 µg/mL) and SP (only at 168 h; DYS = 64.99 pg/mL, 95% confidence interval, CI: 2.68-2.81; EUT = 60.33 pg/mL, 95% CI: 2.91-3.06) after calving compared with EUT cows. Regardless of treatment, PRIM cows had higher concentrations of SP (MULT = 55.11 pg/mL, 95% CI: 1.27-1.30; PRIM = 57.62 pg/mL, 95% CI: 1.99-2.06), HP (MULT = 134.14 ± 4.96 µg/mL; PRIM = 163.75 ± 7.76 µg/mL), and cortisol (MULT = 18.65 µg/mL, 95% CI: 1.02-1.05; PRIM = 21.92 µg/mL, 95% CI: 1.67-1.74) compared with MULT cows. In addition, cows that experienced SI-EVT or MU-EVT had higher concentrations of HP (NO-EVT = 134.13 ± 5.95 µg/mL; SI-EVT = 142.68 ± 7.32 µg/mL; MU-EVT = 170.03 ± 9.42 µg/mL) and cortisol (NO-EVT = 17.86 µg/mL, 95% CI: 1.20-1.24; SI-EVT = 21.01 µg/mL, 95% CI: 1.61-1.67; MU-EVT = 22.01 µg/mL, 95% CI: 2.08-2.18) compared with cows with NO-EVT recorded. Results from this study suggest that a short-duration anti-inflammatory therapy after calving reduced HP in MULT cows but may not have effects on SP and cortisol concentrations. Calving ease and parity affected the concentrations of markers of inflammation, nociception, and stress regardless of treatment. Further research is warranted to assess anti-inflammatory strategies aimed at decreasing inflammation and stress in DYS and PRIM cows and therefore improve welfare and performance of these high-priority groups.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug
- Substance P
- Cattle Diseases