Pain Relief in Sows Can Help Reduce Post-Farrowing Activity, Which Could Lead to Reduced Piglet Crushing

Date
1999
Authors
Haussmann, M.
Lay, D.
Buchanan, H.
Hopper, J.
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Abstract

Sows lying on their piglets causing them to be crushed is a major cause of piglet mortality. Crushing may be due to increased sow position changes from pressure sores that develop because of hard flooring in farrowing crates. The objective of this study was to determine if administration of an analgesic would allow sows to lie more restfully. Data collected showed that administration of butorphanol tartrate to sows decreased the number of body position changes. If piglet mortality can be decreased by administration of butorphanol, an analgesic protocol that is simple to conduct can be developed. Alternatively, utilization of more comfortable flooring or an increase in sow body fat may be a more practical solution that will allow the sow to lie more comfortably.

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