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Causes of spontaneous sow deaths in the farrowing units of 10 Danish sow herds

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  • H. Kongsted
  • S. Haugegaard, SEGES
  • ,
  • A. S. Juel, SEGES
  • ,
  • C. M. Salomonsen, SEGES
  • ,
  • T. K. Jensen, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet

This study established the causes and timing of spontaneous sow deaths in the farrowing units of ten Danish sow herds. Herds participated for seven to 15 months during 2018–19. We received data (production data and detailed information on the sows that died) on a total of 126 sows. Fifty-three sows were necropsied, and tissues were evaluated histopathologically. Twenty-four percent of the sows died 0–5 days postpartum. The main cause of death in the study was liver lobe torsion, which was diagnosed in 22 of 53 necropsied sows (42%). Deaths caused by liver lobe torsions were less often seen during the 0–5 day postpartum period compared to deaths caused by other reasons (P = 0.002). Seven of the necropsied sows (13%) died from endotoxaemic shock from retained foetuses. This cause of death was seen in seven of ten herds. These sows typically died 1–3 days postpartum. Pneumonia accounted for 13% of deaths in the necropsied sows, but the majority of these sows originated from one herd experiencing a respiratory outbreak caused by the introduction of M. hyopneumonia. Less prevalent causes of death in the study were torsion of the intestinal segment (8%), suspected cardiovascular collapse (8%), rupture of blood vessels (uterine and nonuterine) (8%), gastric ulcer (4%), sepsis (2%) and liver abscess (2%). We concluded that liver lobe torsion needs further attention to establish the background of this surprisingly prevalent cause of death. Furthermore, a need for procedures that ensure efficient farrowing was identified.

TidsskriftResearch in Veterinary Science
Sider (fra-til)127-132
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

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