Breeding Sow Mortality and Euthanasia
As pigs are becoming more prolific, the average mortality and euthanasia of breeding sows has doubled to 10%. There are many causes, the main ones were examined. The leading cause of death and euthanasia are prolapses accounting for 25-50% of them. Lameness and serious injuries also lead to euthanasia. A lot of this is due to arthritis, but facilities should be inspected regularity to make sure no bolts are sticking out, gap widths on slatted floor must be up to code and ventilation and heating should be adequate. In the summer, some sows die due to heat stress, usually in late gestation and farrowing. Gastric ulcers may also be common in some herds. They cause bleeding, decreased appetite and anemia which shows as paleness of the skin and vulva with eventual death. They are caused by grain size, Vitamin E to selenium ratio, and fibre content of feed. Overexcited animals that intake feed or water too quickly may get torsion of the stomach, liver or spleen. This often happens after long periods of deprivation. Poor water quality and extended inadequate water intake lead to poor cleaning of the urinary tract which promotes renal infections. The first symptoms are cloudy, very dark urine. This can also occur when the environment is poorly cleaned where they sit or lie down, as fecal bacteria can enter the urinary tract. Regular scraping should be done to avoid this. Diseases such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome can be a major cause of death in gilts. If immune systems are weakened in the animals, they are more likely to die from influenza too. Dystocia, difficult farrowing due to an anomaly, is also a cause of death. This may be from having large piglets and death due to exhaustion occurs, or mummified piglets causing septicemia. Costs of death can be expensive, especially if it occurs later in gestation. Monitoring rounds should be done in order to reduce death and prevent loss of income.
Breeding Sow Mortality and Euthanasia (full article)