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      Post mortem findings in sows and gilts euthanised or found dead in a large Swedish herd


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          The aim of this study was to get information on post mortem diagnoses of sows found dead or euthanised and to understand the diagnoses aetiology (causative background). Moreover, the study was to evaluate the association between the clinical symptoms observed on farm and post mortem findings.


          A large Swedish herd was studied from January to September 2006. During the 32-week period 3.9% of the removed sows and gilts (old enough to be mated) were found dead, 12.0% were euthanised and the rest were sent to slaughter. Of 32 sows/gilts found dead 17 (53%) were post mortem examined, and of 98 sows euthanised 79 (81%) were examined. The 96 examined carcasses were after 70 sows and 26 gilts. The findings at examination were together with data from the herd monitoring program PigWin Sugg the base for the descriptive statistics presented.


          The average parity number at removal was 2.8 for those found dead and 2.1 for those euthanised. The highest number euthanised and found dead was in parity 0 (gilts). The main proportion of post mortem examinations was made on sows being in the period = 28 d of gestation at death (37.5%), followed by weaning to next service period (24.0%). Arthritis, with an incidence of 36.4% was the most common main finding of pathological-anatomical diagnosis (PAD). Of sows/gilts found dead were circulatory/cardiac failure (23.5%) and trauma related injuries (23.5%) most common PAD. The most commonly observed clinical symptom and reason for euthanasia of the sows/gilts was lameness. Notably, in 43% of the cases with PAD arthritis, the clinical symptoms suggested it being a fracture. Further one or more abscesses (38.5%) and teeth injuries (31.0%) were common findings when also incidental findings were included.


          This post mortem study based on carcasses from sows/gilts found dead or euthanised showed that arthritis was a significant problem in the studied herd and that post mortem examination was important to get proper diagnosis.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Relationships between tail biting in pigs and disease lesions and condemnations at slaughter.

          Two matched case-control studies were performed at an abattoir with a capacity of 780 pigs per hour, each study using the approximately 7000 pigs slaughtered on one day. In the first study, the severity of tail biting and pneumonia were recorded in pigs with bitten or intact tails. In the second study, the tail score, sex, and the presence of pleuritis, externally visible abscesses and trimming were recorded in pigs with bitten or intact tails. In study 1, there was no significant association between the tail score and the percentage of lung tissue affected by lesions typical of enzootic pneumonia, but there was a significant association between the severity of tail biting and the prevalence of lungs with abscesses and/or pleuritic lesions (P<0.0001). In study 2, there were significant associations between the severity of tail biting, and the prevalence of external carcase abscesses and carcase trimming; the carcases of castrated males had evidence of tail biting more frequently than the carcases of females (P<0.05).
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            Sow removal in Swedish commercial herds

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              Lifetime reproductive performance in female pigs having distinct reasons for removal


                Author and article information

                Acta Vet Scand
                Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
                BioMed Central
                1 July 2008
                : 50
                : 1
                : 25
                [1 ]Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7023, SE-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden
                [2 ]Swedish Animal Health Service, Kungsängens gård, SE-753 23, Uppsala, Sweden
                [3 ]National Veterinary Institute, SE-751 89, Uppsala, Sweden
                [4 ]Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Reproduction, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7054, SE-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden
                Copyright © 2008 Engblom et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Veterinary medicine


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