Lactation failure in the sow

Publish Date: June 13, 2022

Milk from the lactating sow is crucial to supply neonatal piglets with nutrition and antibodies to help them grow and thrive. In the period surrounding farrowing and lactation, sows and gilts are going through many physiologic changes that must be critically managed to ensure high levels of milk production. When these lactation levels are inadequate, a condition called Postpartum Dysgalactia Syndrome (PDS) occurs. PDS is characterized by any of the following: low milk production, anorexia (off-feed), fever, mastitis, and uterine infections; however, some females may not show obvious clinical signs other than producing piglets with below average weaning weights. PDS can be caused by changes in sow/gilt body composition and metabolism, response to stress in the environment, and the presence of infectious agents.

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Care of the Sow During Farrowing and Lactation

Publish Date: June 3, 2006

Proper care of the sow during gestation, farrowing, and lactation is a means to reach a goal—a large litter of healthy pigs at birth that will remain healthy and grow rapidly. Care during this time must also prepare the sow for a successful repeat performance at the earliest time within the system of weaning and rebreeding used. The sow must reach farrowing in the best nutritional and microbiological health for herself and for the expected litter. Properly balanced rations should be fed in recommended amounts so that newborn pigs are well developed and strong. A herd health program that assures minimal exposure of the sow to disease or disease carriers during gestation is essential for maximal litter survival during the first weeks of life and for effective growth to weaning and market. The sows should be managed in a gentle and confident manner and on a regular daily schedule.

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