Factors associated with claw lesions in gestating sows

Sukumarannair S. Anil, BVSc, MVSc, PhD; Leena Anil, BVSc, MVSc, PhD; John Deen, DVM, MSc, PhD; Samuel K. Baidoo, MSc, PhD; Roger D. Walker, PhD

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Objective: To characterize claw lesions and to analyze the factors associated with types of claw lesions in sows.

Methods: Claw lesions were scored for 184 sows in farrowing stalls on day 110 of gestation, and associations with body condition (body weight and backfat thickness on day 109 of gestation), parity, gestation housing system, and lameness were analyzed using logistic regression models.

Results: At least one lesion was present on at least one claw on the wall and the heel areas of 88.6% and 86.4% of sows, respectively, with more severe lesions on forelimbs and on lateral claws. The likelihood of wall lesions in any claw increased with body weight on day 109 of gestation. For any claw, the likelihood of heel lesions increased and the likelihood of overgrown heels decreased with higher backfat. Non-lame sows were less likely than lame sows to have white-line lesions on any claw. Sows of parity ≤ 5 were more likely to have white-line lesions in any claw than sows of parity > 5. Sows housed in pens with electronic sow feeders (ESF) were more likely than stall-housed sows to have all types of lesions in any claw.

Implications: Under the conditions of this study, lameness and younger parity were associated with white-line lesions. Use of ESFs was associated with more severe lesions. Measures to minimize claw lesions in sows are needed to reduce the incidence of lameness and probably removal rates, especially for younger parities.<

Keywords: claw lesions, lameness, parity, housing system

RIS citationCite as: Anil SS, Anil L, Deen J, et al. Factors associated with claw lesions in gestating sows. J Swine Health Prod 2007;15(2):78-83.

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