Veterinary disbudding

Veterinary disbudding and pain relief

At the Colac Veterinary Clinic we are now offering a complete veterinary disbudding service. The aim of this is to optimize growth and calf health through improving procedures and animal welfare along the guidelines given by your milk companies. Recent studies in Australia and NZ have found that veterinary disbudding (hot iron cautery with sedation and local anaesthetic), has been shown to maintain better appetite and growth rates compared to disbudding calves without pain relief or sedation.

As a result of this improved comfort and maintained appetite the veterinary disbudded calves had an average growth rate of 0.76kg/day compared with 0.66kg/day of those with no pain relief of sedation, a 16% increase in growth rate over the 30d period following disbudding. In addition, these animals will be less likely to succumb to other illnesses. This practice is becoming the industry norm and being strongly recommended by milk companies.

What’s included:

Heavy sedation/pain relief

Local anaesthetic


Antibiotic protection

Hernia checks

Removal of extra teats


The particulars:

Calves ideally need to be between 2-6 weeks old and not fed milk in the 6 hours prior to disbudding

Sick calves will not be done


We all know that calves get knocked around quite a lot in this period and any setback can be disastrous in the calf pens. With this new information we are implementing a service to allow you the best growth out of your calves. To get your heifers off to a better start call us at the clinic and discuss your options in getting calves disbudded by our trained veterinarians.