Sow Mortality and Longevity

Much has been written about the industrys seemingly dramatic increase in sow mortality. Concerns and questions about genetics, predisposition (possibly from a move to a leaner/meatier animal), and a rapid industry switch to totally enclosed, stalled housing have led the list of potential causes of sow mortality. Veterinarians and swine veterinary consultants should know and be able to recognize many of the signs and predisposing factors that cause decreased sow longevity. They have a responsibility to the client and to animal welfare to point out problems leading to elevated sow mortality when they visit a farm or review farm records.