AVS 324_Swine .docx

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University of Rhode Island
Animal and Veterinary Science
AVS 324
Fred Launer

Swine * Terminology: -gilt: female who hasn‟t farrowed (given birth) yet -barrow: male castrated before puberty -boar: intact full grown male (not castrated) -sow: female who has farrowed (given birth) -farrow: give birth -cryptorchid: viable breeding animal (not just pigs) with one testicle not descended, so not fully castrated -pathogen: any living thing that spreads disease (bacteria, virus, preon) -vector: animal that transmits a pathogen (feral swine are often vectors for swine diseases) -hybrid vigor: when crossing two breeds results in a crossbred with the best features of both breeds, often grow faster than a purebred * Feeding/Nutrition: -feed conversion (lbs of food per lbs of gain) in pigs is 3.5:1 (3.5 lbs of feed will yield 1 lb of gain in the pig) -pigs, even piglets, will never overeat -cut back on protein when pigs are getting bigger because it gets excreted and is expensive * Digestion: omnivore, monogastric -eat  signal to brain  hydrochloric acid released * Medical: -routinely blood test swine for: 1. Pseudorabies: virus, causes abortions, airborne, began in the USA, causes rabies-like behavior and death in cats and dogs but causes „mad itch‟ in cows/sheep/goats, feral swine are a vector 2. Brucellosis: bacteria, zoonotic, causes abortions, bloodborne, almost eliminated in the USA, causes abortions in humans too, if a pig is infected the pig is euthanized even though it is not fatal unless untreated just so that it is not spread to any other animals or any people, feral swine are a vector 3. African Swine Fever (ASF): virus, not zoonotic, “diamond skin disease”, hemorrhagic, 90-95% fatal, symptoms are almost completely identical to CSF, screen test for ASF if in area with high likelihood 4. Classical Swine Fever (CSF): virus, not zoonotic, 80% fatal, diarrhea, causes internal damage, temperatures reach 105-106 degrees Farenheight (normal is 101.5 degrees), hemorrhagic, makes pig lethargic, never completely is cured if pig gets it, euthanize pig if infected, screen test for CSF if in area where there is a high likelihood of it -blood test for ASF and CSF will show that white blood cell counts are up -appropriate vaccinations in USA (all come in one vaccine): 1. PPV (Porcine Parvo Virus): not zoonotic, causes reabsorption of embryos 2. Leptospirosis: bacterial, zoonotic, major carrier is rats (urine), vaccinate sows and boars, causes mummification and kidney damage 3. Erysipelas: bacterial, zoonotic, causes so much hemorrhaging that is called “diamond skin disease” like ASF, symptoms look the same as with CSF or ASF, blood test will show white blood cell counts up, spreads through soil and bird feces, treat with antibiotics but the vaccine is very successful -Colibaccilosis: treat piglets that smell like sour milk immediately or they will die within 12 hours, caused by E Coli, bacterial, treated with oral antibiotic -Foot in Mouth: 100% morbidity (if a pig is exposed it will always be sick), low mortality, blisters everywhere (especially mouth, feet, teats), gone from USA since 1929, milk can carry the disease, spread through contact and air, affects cloven hooved animals, 1 vaccine exists (there are 7 strains of the disease but vaccine only works one 1 strain), deer are a vector, research is being done on Plum Island about this disease, destroy any animal who is infected -MMA (Metritis, Mastitis, Aglaxia): bacterial, caused by dystocia (farrowing difficulty), symptoms include fever and pig acting lethargic, treat with 3 doses of antibiotics and oxytocin, it is a disease complex. Metritis is uterine infection, mastitis is mammary gland infection, aglaxia is shut down of milk -Salmonella: zoonotic, antibiotics are the treatment, causes white blood cell count to go up  Breeding: -when choosing a gilt for breeding look at how her sow performed, the gilt‟s conformation and hope for mothering ability (looks before she lays down to make sure to not crush piglets) -most breeding facilities use artificial insemination because boars are dangerous and just use boars to tease sows and bring them into heat -breed sow twice (once in morning, once at night) if breeding artificially -if a boar is used for artificial insemination he can never breed naturally or artificial won‟t be exciting anymore -uterus has two horns, when farrowing the first horn empties of piglets and then afterbirth for that side is expelled, then the other horn empties of piglets and expels the afterbirth -polyestrus (cycle in and out of heat all year long) -cycle into heat (estrous) every 21 days, remain in heat (estrus) for 12-18 hours -can tell a sow is in heat (estrus) when her vulva swells, she tries to mount other pigs and if you touch her back she stands still -overweight boar makes his sex drive decrease as well as a higher chance of breaking the sow‟s hip bones during breeding -boar semen can‟t be frozen and is quantity not quality, low sperm count but approximately 1 quart of semen per ejaculation -gestation length is 3 months 3 weeks 3 days (114 days) -move sow to farrowing crate about 3 days before she farrows, she stays there 3 for 3 weeks with her piglets once they are born -ideal litter size is 10 live piglets, ideal piglet is 3.5 lbs at birth -normal presentation of piglet during farrowing is feet and then head (like diving), if born backwards they don‟t break the umbilical sac and can suffocate (if you‟re there you can save on average 1 piglet per litter by breaking the sac) -prolactin is the milk production hormone, oxytocin is the milk let down hormone (and contraction hormone), relaxin makes the birth canal walls relax for farrowing and makes the tail very flexible -colostrum is not as important with nonruminants (like pigs) because most of the nutrients are transferred via the placenta -each teat produces its own milk supply, converts blood to milk
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