Influence of method of administration of prostaglandin on farrowing and relationship between gestation length and piglet performance
Barbara Straw, DVM, PhD; Ronald Bates, MS, PhD; Gerald May, MS
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Objectives: To compare stillbirth rates for litters born during or after the work day; to compare effectiveness of single or split doses of prostaglandin F2α (PGF) administered by injection or topically to induce farrowing; and to determine whether gestational age of the piglet at birth affects its preweaning performance.
Materials and methods: Prostaglandin F2α was administered to sows 113 days after the last insemination, either by intravulval injection or vaginal mucosal application and either in a single 5-mg dose or two half-doses given at a 6-hour interval. Control sows were not treated. Time of parturition and litter performance were recorded.
Results: Approximately 17% to 54% of treated sows and 17% of controls farrowed during the work day on gestation day 114. The single-dose mucosal application of PGF was less effective in inducing parturition during working hours of day 114 than the other three methods of administration, which produced comparable results. Number of stillborns per litter did not differ in treated sows and controls, nor in litters farrowed at night compared to those farrowed during the work day. Shorter gestation length was associated with lighter birth weight, but birth weights and weights 122 days after the last insemination and at 12 days of age did not differ among piglets of treated and control sows.
Implications:. Administration of PGF by split-dose topical mucosal application or single or split-dose intravulval injection are equally effective at inducing parturition. Induction and shortening of gestation length do not adversely affect gain in piglets.
Keywords: prostaglandin, induced farrowing
Cite as: Straw B, Bates R, May G. Influence of method of administration of prostaglandin on farrowing and relationship between gestation length and piglet performance. J Swine Health Prod 2008;16(3):138-143.
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