Effects of chlortetracycline administration on the health status and performance of sows: Results of a field trial
Aphrodite P. Sbiraki, DVM; Konstantinos Saoulidis, DVM, Dr Med Vet; Spiros C. Kyriakis, DVM, Dr Med Vet, Diplomate ECAR; Philippos Saratsis, DVM, Dr Med Vet, Diplomate ECAR; Costas Alexopoulos, DVM, Dr Med Vet, Diplomate ECAR; George C. Fthenakis, DVM, MSc, PhD, Diplomate ECAR
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Objectives: To investigate the effects of in-feed chlortetracycline (CTC) during lactation on health status and reproductive performance of gilts or sows in a herd with a history of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome; to evaluate health status and performance of the piglets born to these females; and to investigate health status and reproductive performance of the same sows during the subsequent lactation period, when no in-feed CTC was administered.
Methods: Two groups of 200 gilts or sows were monitored for two consecutive breeding cycles (phases). During Phase 1, the CTC+ group received CTC in the feed (10 g per animal daily) from 5 days before farrowing until the first service after weaning. The CTC- group received non-medicated feed. During Phase 2, both groups received non-medicated feed.
Results: Rates of occurrence of poor appetite and vaginal discharges were lower for the CTC+ group during both phases, and rates of occurrence of clinical mastitis, anestrus, and returns-to-estrus were lower for CTC+ sows in Phase 1. The CTC+ sows lost less body weight during lactation, had a shorter wean-to-first estrus interval in Phase 1, and had a shorter interval between Phases 1 and Phase 2 farrowing dates. More piglets were weaned from CTC+ sows, and the piglets had lower mean throughout-lactation diarrhea scores in both phases and heavier weaning weights in Phase 1.
Implications: In-feed administration of CTC during lactation improved health and performance of sows and their piglets. The beneficial effects continued during the subsequent lactation, when no CTC was administered.
Keywords: sow, chlortetracycline, reproductive performance
Cite as: Sbiraki AP, Saoulidis K, Kyriakis SC, et al. Effects of chlortetracycline administration on the health status and performance of sows: Results of a field trial. J Swine Health Prod 2003;11(3):117-126.
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