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Objective—To determine the effects of florfenicol injection on the meat characteristics of the cervical muscles in cattle.
Animals—100 steers (mean weight, 380 kg).
Procedure—In 50 calves, florfenicol (25 ml, twice) was injected into the cervical muscles of 1 side of the neck, and saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (25 ml, twice) was injected into the cervical muscles of the other side of the neck. In the remaining 50 calves, florfenicol was injected into the cervical muscles of 1 side of the neck, and nothing was injected into the cervical muscles of the other side of the neck. Animals were slaughtered 132 days later, and samples of the cervical muscles were submitted for histologic evaluation and measurement of shear forces.
Results—2 injection sites used in the present study had extensive lesions, and both of these were sites where florfenicol had been injected. However, histologic scores for the florfenicol injection sites were not significantly different from scores for the contralateral saline solution injection sites and uninjected control sites. In addition, shear force values were not significantly different between sites in which florfenicol had been injected and the contralateral sites.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that few reactions should be expected with injection of florfenicol into the cervical muscles in steers and that reactions that do occur will consist mainly of fibrosis and infiltration of adipose tissue. However, shear force values, a measure of tenderness of the meat, should not be affected. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:64–68)