Pig International - July/August 2017 - 36

36 ❙ PigInternational
TREAT IRON DEFICIENCY
and diarrhea. Clearly this is not a recommended method,
although it is frequently advertised as such.  
■ Rooting material. Providing sterilized turf or preserved
silage, with or without supplemental iron, is a method
that has been tried with some success. It is laborious and
requires diligence in application and hygiene, without
providing uniform coverage of piglet iron needs early
in life. Thus, many piglets remain anemic or borderline
anemic, requiring further treatment. This method can be
part of a more broad treatment protocol involving other
supplemental sources of iron as iron-rich pastes or tablets.  
■ Paste. This is a relatively recent development in which
an iron-rich paste is placed into the mouth of newborn
piglets (usually within a couple days from birth). This
paste is most likely to contain energy sources (glucose
and lipids), immunoglobulins, vitamins and other
minerals. For this method to succeed, the form of iron
must be such that is readily available for digestion by
the piglet. This method of preventing iron deficiency is
gaining popularity as it offers a less invasive alternative to intramuscular injections.  

Read more: Why producers should

monitor iron levels in animal feed,
www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/30483
■ Oral tablets. Another innovative way to provide iron

in the form of a small tablet placed at the root of the
tongue causing a natural swallowing reflex. Again, the
iron must be provided in a highly digestible format. It
is important to have a trained person perform this task;
otherwise rejection of the tablet will be high resulting
in extra handling of the piglet (to administer a second
tablet) and increased expense.  
■ Intramuscular injection. This is the most common
method for preventing piglet anemia. In brief, piglets are
injected in the muscle of the neck (preferred) or ham with
100 to 200 mg iron, as iron dextran (most common form
but not the only one), during the first two days of life.
Assuming pigs are weaned about 21 days of age, this dos-

Iron deficiency risk
assessment guideline
Hemoglobin
g/liter blood

Condition

Growth
performance

100+

Normal

Maximal

90

Minimal

Average

80

Borderline

Minimal

70

Anemic

Retarded

60

Severe anemia

Depressed

Less than 50

Severe anemia

High mortality

National Research Council (1973)

Values less than 25 percent of normal should be
considered as risk, and values below 50 percent
should be classified clearly as severe anemia.
age provides enough iron to cover their needs until they
start consuming enough dry feed post-weaning. If weaning age is later than 21 days of age, then a supplementary
dose may be required, but this is best assessed on a farmby-farm basis by the attending nutritionist or veterinarian
as it depends on the use of creep feed. The most common
problem with injections is that they must be done by
experienced personnel to avoid animal discomfort,
ensure proper administration of the complete dose at
the appropriate site and to minimize the risk of broken needles left inside the muscle. The latter problem
condemns a large part of the animal (usually as valuable as the ham) or even the whole animal if efforts to
retrieve the broken part are unsuccessful.

It's a management issue
Piglet anemia is not a disease but rather a management
issue due to modern practices in raising pigs at indoor
commercial facilities. Preventive treatment is essential
to avoid reduced growth, further complications with secondary diseases and high mortality. The easiest way to
provide iron to newborn piglets is by intramuscular injections, followed by more recent developments involving
oral application of an iron-rich paste or tablet. All methods have positive and negative aspects, and these are best
assessed and discussed with a qualified person, such as a
veterinarian or nutritionist. ■
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ July/August 2017


http://www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/30483 http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pig International - July/August 2017

Pig International - July/August 2017
Contents
Pigs and Money
Industry Happenings
World pork production to grow at a slower rate
5 ways phytogenics improve pig feed efficiency
Methionine beyond protein synthesis in growing pigs
Understanding pseudorabies in pigs leads to prevention
6 fiber insights for formulating livestock feed
Salmonella control: Do organic acids solve the problem?
How lactic fermented feed benefits pig production
How to treat iron deficiency in neonatal pigs
Products
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Pig International - July/August 2017
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Cover2
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Contents
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Pigs and Money
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Industry Happenings
Pig International - July/August 2017 - World pork production to grow at a slower rate
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 5
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 6
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 7
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 8
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 9
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 5 ways phytogenics improve pig feed efficiency
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 11
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 12
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 13
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Methionine beyond protein synthesis in growing pigs
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 15
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 16
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 17
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 18
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 19
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Understanding pseudorabies in pigs leads to prevention
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 21
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 22
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 23
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 6 fiber insights for formulating livestock feed
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 25
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Salmonella control: Do organic acids solve the problem?
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 27
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 28
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 29
Pig International - July/August 2017 - How lactic fermented feed benefits pig production
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 31
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 32
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 33
Pig International - July/August 2017 - How to treat iron deficiency in neonatal pigs
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 35
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 36
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 37
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Products
Pig International - July/August 2017 - 39
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Cover3
Pig International - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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