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Medicating mothers could help limit piglet pain

Administering medicine through nursing sows could help improve piglet welfare by limiting the pain they feel during procedures such as teeth clipping and tail docking.

Scientists at Kansas State University found that ‘transmammary delivery’, which involves injecting sows with pain-relieving medicine which is then injected by suckling piglets, could reduce pain and limit stress reports the Pig Site.

In a study published in the Journal of Animal Science, the scientists said limiting piglet stress could also have positive impacts on production by helping piglets achieve higher weight gain.

Hans Coetzee, head of the university’s anatomy and physiology department, said: “In the swine industry, piglets regularly undergo painful procedures such as tail docking and castration, which have become an emerging animal welfare concern.

“We hypothesised that transmammary delivery of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID — in this case, firocoxib — would reduce pain associated with processing in piglets.

“Our findings indicated this technique may safely reduce processing-induced stress and enhance production by increasing weaning weights.”

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Posted on October 3, 2019

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  • Pork industry makes progress on pain management

    Pain management for pigs has always been a challenge, partly because it’s difficult to measure levels of pain and partly because there are no FDA-approved drugs labeled for pain management in pigs.




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