Flunixin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and the most commonly prescribed analgesic in cattle in the United States. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a transdermal formulation of flunixin for control of pyrexia associated with bovine respiratory disease and the control of pain associated with foot rot. The transdermal formulation is not currently approved for use in lactating dairy cattle in the United States, but extra-label use in dairy cattle is permissible under US regulations. The objectives of this study were to determine the pharmacokinetics in milk of dairy cows treated with transdermal flunixin and determine an appropriate withdrawal time for milk. Ten lactating Holstein cows were enrolled into the study in mid lactation. Following treatment, cows were milked 3 times per day through 144 h. Milk samples were collected for drug analysis using ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The geometric mean maximum concentration for flunixin in milk was 0.010 μg/mL and was 0.061 μg/mL for the active metabolite, 5-hydroxyflunixin. The geometric mean terminal half-life was 20.71 h for flunixin and 22.62 h for 5-hydroxyflunixin. Calculations to approximate a withdrawal time in milk following transdermal flunixin administration were accomplished using a statistical tolerance limit procedure. This analysis indicated that it would be prudent to observe a withdrawal period of 96 h following the last treatment. This is more than twice as long as the labeled withdrawal period of 36 h following use of the injectable formulation. The withdrawal period suggested by this work should be applied carefully, as this study was not conducted under the full quality control practices required by the US FDA for a full drug approval study. Caution should be taken when applying this withdrawal time to diseased animals, animals that are milked with different milking frequencies, and those in different stages of production as these have all been shown to affect drug depletion from milk. Copyright © 2019 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.