Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Sweepstakes Rules
Download the report!Continue to Site >
or wait 7 secs

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)

We’re glad you’re enjoying Pig Health Today.
Access is free but you’ll need to register to view more content.
Already registered? Sign In
Tap to download the app


Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
follow us

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Pig Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Pig Health Today | Sponsored by Zoetis

Featured Video Play Icon

Inadequate iron supplements cause subclinical anemia in weaned pigs

The standard 200 mg iron shot for baby pigs at processing may not be enough iron to last until weaning. Anemic pigs at weaning also grow slower in the nursery, reports Sam Holst, DVM, veterinarian with Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota.

“The 200 mg injection of iron at processing was the gold standard…We need to relook at [it] to make sure we’re optimizing iron supplementation,” Holst said.

Checking hemoglobin

What he’s learned is no iron protocol works for all hog systems. Using a hand-held hemoglobin reader called HemoCue, Holst conducts diagnostic hemoglobin tests on-site for clients. He usually tests 20 to 30 piglets in a unit right before weaning.

“If we end up with greater than 20% or 30% of pigs iron-deficient or anemic at weaning, then we decide if we need to increase the dose,” he said. “Sometimes we review injection techniques with the staff to make sure [they are] giving a quality dose and not getting iron running out of the injection sites. Or we may decide to administer two doses of iron.”

The most common solution is increasing the dose. Holst sees farms use from 250 mg to 300 mg in a single injection. Going higher in a single dose may cause iron toxicity. If more iron is required, two doses are recommended.

Holst has clients using two doses, especially on farms with extended weaning ages. “If we’re getting out to 23, 24 days at wean age, we really tax that initial iron dose,” he explained. “In those situations, we have gone to either two 150 mg doses or two 200 mg doses.”

Subclinical anemia cases

The iron deficiencies Holst sees are not clinical cases where the deficiency is obvious, such as rough hair coats and pale pigs. Instead, it is subclinical anemia and not visually obvious.

“If we were to identify a group that had some significant anemia issues at weaning, we may go in and inject some iron [right after] weaning to try to catch them up,” he explained.

“There’s been some data that shows piglets that are anemic at weaning will actually grow slower throughout the nursery,” Holst continued. “So if it’s a severe group, it is advantageous to go in and supplement that group.”


Share It
Why is subclinical anemia an issue in weaned pigs and what can you do to prevent it?

Click an icon to share this information with your industry contacts.

Posted on May 20, 2020

tags: , ,

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Share It
Looking at individual “pieces of the puzzle” means farm owners can evaluate the pros and cons of Mycoplasma elimination programs and come to a practical solution, says veterinarian David A. Baumert.

Click an icon to share this information with your industry contacts.
Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.