Topized, a necessary practice for safety and wellness

The interviewed animals look better and hurt each other less when determining the hierarchy within the herd. Similarly, an animal without horns guarantees greater security to the staff who care for and manage it.

Dehorning and topisado are techniques that need to be known and applied when possible and necessary, especially when animal husbandry involves milk production, since during milking, daily handling will be safer, said Ricardo Arenas, veterinarian, in a new chapter in the Practical Guide to Animal Husbandry prepared by Fedeghan.


There are various methods of derogation or derogation of an animal, mainly depending on its age.

Here with dehorning paste which is the most recommended method for young animals, as more complex procedures can be avoided and more difficult when it comes to maintaining the welfare of the animal. In this case, the materials are: scissors, a sharp knife, a head or a loop, petroleum jelly and a horn removal paste.

This procedure is carried out between 5 and 15 days after birth, when the corneal button first appears, for this the calf is restrained from moving its head while applying the paste. With the immobility of the lower leg, horn buttons are located; the hair above the button is shaved with scissors, cleaning it and completely exposing it. A Vaseline ring is then applied around the button and onto the skin to protect it, as it is more sensitive to the action of the paste. (Read more Animal context: how to topize more friendly).

On the button, being careful not to stain the skin of the animal or operator, apply the paste with the applicator only on it, completely covering it to avoid unwanted growths. After applying the cream, the animal should be held for 15–20 minutes to prevent it from clearing trees or other animals, as this causes temporary discomfort. This paste will prevent the development of the corneal bud and therefore the horn will not grow back.

electric sprinkler

This method is performed with an electrical device that safely attempts to burn or atrophy the corneal button. The technique is to hold and pluck the animal equally at the initial stage of corneal button development, and after connecting an electrical dehorning device for several minutes, apply it firmly to the entire button for 20–30 seconds.

In this technique, it is important be careful with soft tissue such as the skin and eyes of an animal, as burns may occur if they are not applied exclusively to the designated area.


Often used on ranches in the mid to low tropics, this method is similar to electrical stuffing, using a similarly shaped and sized hot iron to induce heat atrophy in the corneal button and prevent horn development. (Read more Livestock context: Which method of dehorning cattle do you prefer: physical or chemical?)


If animals are not dehorned by any of these methods, for the safety of other animals and personnel, it is recommended that rearing be dehorned with a guaia or a sharp dehorner to reduce the risk of stabbing.

A maximum of two to three centimeters should be cut from the tip so that it does not fall into the incision where the horn is hollow and open the door of infection.

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