Pig International - November 2017 - 14

14 ❙ PigInternational

Mastitis in sows:
A perennial
problem
This condition can have serious
consequences for the sow and piglets,
both in the short and long term.
BY ZOE KAY

Inflammation of one or more of the mammary glands
is referred to as mastitis. It is generally caused by
an acute bacterial infection, although it can become
chronic. In the lactating sow, clinical onset is about 12
hours postpartum, having started at farrowing. Mastitis
can affect individual animals or a significant proportion of the herd due to environmental contamination.
Mastitis reduces milk production, leading to poor
intake of colostrum and milk by the piglets. This, in
turn, will cause poor growth rates and potentially a
greater likelihood of disease. Also of economic importance is the reduction in sow longevity.

Causes of mastitis
The most common cause of mastitis in pigs is coliform bacteria, including E. coli and Klebsiella species.
They release an endotoxin that makes the sow unwell and
reduces milk yield. Staphlococcus and Streptococcus
are also fairy common but may be less severe infections.
Bacteria either enter the mammary gland through the teat
opening or via a wound. It can also be a secondary infection following a disease outbreak. 

Symptoms
The first signs of mastitis are a high temperature and
refusal to eat. Inappetence, even before farrowing, can
indicate the start of mastitis. Nursery staff may also no-

tice that the sow isn't willing to suckle the piglets. The
mammary glands appear red, swollen and are painful
when palpated. The skin of the affected glands or whole
udder can also be discolored. Bluing of the ears and tail
is also reported, along with a red appearance of the area
around the eye. Observation of a sow's litter may also
give an indication of cases of mastitis. Piglets may initially appear empty and hungry - squealing due to lack
of milk, subsequently becoming quiet and sleepy. 

Prevalence
"We see more cases of mastitis in the summer," said
Grace Webster, veterinarian at G W Pig Consultants.
"But it is an all-year-round problem." She described the
two main types of mastitis she sees in practice. "The
first is a sub-clinical infection, where one gland is affected. This is often picked up after weaning and whilst
the sow is not unwell the condition is already chronic."
The second but most important type of cases is acute
mastitis. "Most of the glands may be affected and it will
be obvious that her piglets aren't thriving." 

Risk factors
The possibility of mastitis being associated with another other health condition or disease should also be explored.
"Anything that affects the immune system, for example
PRRS, could mean that mastitis is seen as a secondary
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ November/December 2017


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pig International - November 2017

Pig International - November 2017
Contents
Pigs and Money
Industry Happenings
What you should know about gastric ulcers in pigs
Business, science behind phytogenics in pig feeds
Mastitis in sows: A perennial problem
Understanding chemistry of organic acids in antibiotic-free diets
How piglet gastric pH development affects gut health
Debunking trace mineral myths in animal nutrition
Animal feed formulation: Fiber matrix secrets revealed
World’s top 40 pork processors
World’s top 40 pork producers
5 programs pig producers don’t want to miss at IPPE 2018
Products
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Pig International - November 2017 - BB1
Pig International - November 2017 - BB2
Pig International - November 2017 - Pig International - November 2017
Pig International - November 2017 - Cover2
Pig International - November 2017 - Contents
Pig International - November 2017 - Pigs and Money
Pig International - November 2017 - Industry Happenings
Pig International - November 2017 - What you should know about gastric ulcers in pigs
Pig International - November 2017 - 5
Pig International - November 2017 - 6
Pig International - November 2017 - 7
Pig International - November 2017 - Business, science behind phytogenics in pig feeds
Pig International - November 2017 - 9
Pig International - November 2017 - 10
Pig International - November 2017 - 11
Pig International - November 2017 - 12
Pig International - November 2017 - 13
Pig International - November 2017 - Mastitis in sows: A perennial problem
Pig International - November 2017 - 15
Pig International - November 2017 - 16
Pig International - November 2017 - 17
Pig International - November 2017 - 18
Pig International - November 2017 - 19
Pig International - November 2017 - Understanding chemistry of organic acids in antibiotic-free diets
Pig International - November 2017 - 21
Pig International - November 2017 - 22
Pig International - November 2017 - 23
Pig International - November 2017 - How piglet gastric pH development affects gut health
Pig International - November 2017 - 25
Pig International - November 2017 - 26
Pig International - November 2017 - 27
Pig International - November 2017 - Debunking trace mineral myths in animal nutrition
Pig International - November 2017 - 29
Pig International - November 2017 - 30
Pig International - November 2017 - 31
Pig International - November 2017 - Animal feed formulation: Fiber matrix secrets revealed
Pig International - November 2017 - 33
Pig International - November 2017 - 34
Pig International - November 2017 - 35
Pig International - November 2017 - World’s top 40 pork processors
Pig International - November 2017 - World’s top 40 pork producers
Pig International - November 2017 - 5 programs pig producers don’t want to miss at IPPE 2018
Pig International - November 2017 - Products
Pig International - November 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Pig International - November 2017 - Cover3
Pig International - November 2017 - Cover4
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