Validation of a lameness model in sows using physiological and mechanical measurements

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Abell, Caitlyn
Pairis-Garcia, Monique
Holt, Whitney
Sun, Gang
Coetzee, Johann
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Karriker, Locke
Morrill Professor
Hoff, Steven
Professor Emeritus
Stalder, Kenneth
Johnson, Anna
Professor Animal Behavior and Welfare
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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The objective of this study was to develop a validated, transient, chemically induced lameness model in sows using subjective and objective lameness detection tools. Experiment 1 determined an effective joint injection technique based on volume and placement of dye using feet collected from 9 finisher pigs and 10 multiparity cull sow carcasses. Experiment 2 confirmed the injection technique in live animals and produced a transient clinical lameness in 4 anesthetized sows injected with amphotericin B (15 mg/mL) in the distal interphalangeal joints of the claw. Clinical lameness was assessed by a categorical lameness scoring system, and a postmortem visual confirmation of joint injection technique was obtained. In Exp. 3, 6 sows were injected with 0, 10, or 15 mg/mL amphotericin B in either the left or right hind foot and were monitored until clinical resolution. Treated sows demonstrated elevated clinical lameness scores. These changes resolved by 7 d after lameness induction. Control sows injected with sterile saline developed a clinical lameness score of 0.5, which resolved 72 h post injection. In Exp. 4, 36 sows were injected with 10 mg/mL amphotericin B in 1 of 4 injection sites (left front claws, right front claws, left rear claws, and right rear claws). All injected sows exhibited a decrease in maximum pressure, stance time, and number of sensors activated on the GaitFour (P < 0.05) sensor system. A static force plate also demonstrated a decrease in weight (kg) being placed on the injected foot when all feet were injected (P ≤ 0.05). Injection of amphotericin B induced a predictable acute lameness that resolved spontaneously and is an effective method to model lameness in sows.


This article is from Journal of Animal Science 91, no. 1 (January 2013): 130–136, doi:10.2527/jas.2011-4994.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013