Pathological findings in spontaneously dead and euthanized sows - a descriptive study

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Ala-Kurikka , E , Munsterhjelm , C , Bergman , P , Laine , T , Pekkarinen , H , Peltoniemi , O , Valros , A & Heinonen , M 2019 , ' Pathological findings in spontaneously dead and euthanized sows - a descriptive study ' , Porcine Health Management , no. 5 , 25 .

Title: Pathological findings in spontaneously dead and euthanized sows - a descriptive study
Author: Ala-Kurikka, Eve; Munsterhjelm, Camilla; Bergman, Paula; Laine, Taina; Pekkarinen, Henna; Peltoniemi, Olli; Valros, Anna; Heinonen, Mari
Contributor organization: Production Animal Medicine
Research Centre for Animal Welfare
Veterinary Biosciences
Helsinki One Health (HOH)
Laura Hänninen / Principal Investigator
Mari Heinonen / Principal Investigator
Teachers' Academy
Date: 2019-11-20
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Porcine Health Management
ISSN: 2055-5660
Abstract: Background:A high rate of euthanized and spontaneously dead sows causes production losses and likely indicatesunderlying welfare problems. Identification of predisposing factors to on-farm deaths requires a thoroughunderstanding of the causes. Post-mortem examination is needed for a proper diagnosis. The aims of thisdescriptive study were to determine causes of spontaneous deaths and euthanasia in sows in a conveniencesample of Finnish herds and to describe pathological findings in the locomotor system and in teeth and gums.Results:This study described post-mortem findings in 65 sows found dead or euthanized on 15 farms. All but oneof the sows presented with two or more pathological findings. The majority of primary pathologic-anatomicdiagnoses (PAD-1) were inflammatory. The most prevalent diagnoses were arthritis and peritonitis (9% of sowseach). The locomotor system was the body part most commonly affected by lesions. Findings in the locomotorsystem unassociated with death were present in 85% of the animals, additionally 29% of PAD-1 s concerned thelocomotor system. The prevalence for both degenerative joint disease and tooth wear was 71%. Farmers had notedclinical signs within 30 days of death in every euthanized sow and in half of the spontaneously dead ones. Thefarmer’s impression of the cause of death agreed at least partly with the PAD-1 in 44% of the cases.Conclusion:Multiple pathologies were the norm in the present animals. This may indicate an extended course ofillness and therefore also an unnecessary delay in medical treatment or euthanasia. The prevalence and clinicalrelevance of the most common disorders, including degenerative joint disease and tooth wear, need to beelucidated.
Subject: Sow
On-farm death
Post-mortem examination
Locomotor disorder
Degenerative joint disease
Dental and periodontal disease
413 Veterinary science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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