Effect of perioperative penicillin G procaine on bovine castration wound infection rate

  • K. M. Still Brooks Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
  • J. Schleining Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
  • T. A. Brick VDPAM, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011
Keywords: penicillin G procaine, castration, Henderson castrating tool, wound infections


Perioperative administration of B-lactam antimicrobials, including penicillin G procaine, is commonly performed at the time of bovine surgical castration despite a paucity of published evidence regarding rate of bovine castration wound infections and efficacy of single-dose perioperative antimicrobial therapy for bovine castration. The best data on frequency of bovine castration complications was generated from a survey of US bovine veterinarians, which reported wound infection, swelling, gait stiffness, and hemorrhage as the most common complications. This same survey identified that a narrow majority of bovine veterinarians routinely utilized perioperative antibiotics, most commonly β-lactams class drugs, including penicillin G procaine. Increasing public demand for antimicrobial stewardship is elevating professional and consumer scrutiny around veterinary antimicrobial use in food animals. In the current climate that increasingly emphasizes judicious use of antimicrobial drugs, it is imperative to base decisions to incorporate antimicrobial prophylaxis into routine protocols on quality evidence. Currently, there is no published data to suggest that perioperative use of PPG reduces scrotal wound or generalized tetanus infection following routine surgical castration of calves. The objective of the study is to establish whether perioperative administration of penicillin G procaine at the time of surgical castration with the Henderson castrating tool decreases the risk of postcastration surgical wound infections.

Research Summaries