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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Lameness in piglets. Abrasions in nursing piglets and transfer of protection towards infections with Streptococci from sow to offspring

Zoric M, Sjolund M, Persson M, Nilsson E, Lundeheim N, Wallgren P


A group of 175 newborn piglets were monitored with respect to development of abrasions and lameness. Lameness was diagnosed in 10.9% of the piglets. About every second litter was affected and around 75% of these diagnoses took place during the first 3 weeks of life. Skin lesions were present already on day 3. They increased in magnitude until day 10 and thereafter declined. They were generally bilateral and most commonly observed as abrasions over the carpal joints. Hocks, face and tails were affected in a similar way, but at lower magnitudes. Sole bruising was observed in 87% of the piglets on the third day of life, and moderate to severe lesions dominated until day 10. Thereafter the incidence decreased, indicating healing with time. Still 39% of the piglets were affected at day 17. There was a significant positive correlation between skin lesions of carpus and hock within all examination days in selected piglets with known identity (n = 48). Between day 10 and 17 significant positive correlations were found within all examination sites with exception of abdomen and teats. The offspring of sows treated against mastitis expressed more abrasions then piglets delivered by healthy sows and the mortality during the first 17 days postpartum was significantly higher among piglets delivered by sows treated for mastitis. The level of serum antibodies to Streptococcus equisimilis in eight dams decreased during the last month of gestation and a declining maternal immunity to S. equisimilis was demonstrated in all piglets (n = 47) during the first 5 weeks of life. During the first 2 weeks of life somewhat lower median levels of serum antibodies were recorded among the piglets that were treated against arthritis (n = 8)

Published in

Zentralblatt für Veterinärmedizin Reihe B
2004, Volume: 51, number: 6, pages: 278-284