The course of rectal and vaginal temperature in early postpartum sows

Tina Stiehler; Wolfgang Heuwieser, Prof Dr med vet; André Pfützner, DVM; Onno Burfeind, Dr med vet, Diplomate ECAR

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Objectives: To investigate the course of body temperature in early postpartum sows and possible factors that may influence it, and to examine the influence of a vaginal temperature logger on body temperature by including a control group of sows without loggers.

Materials and methods: The study was conducted on a commercial pig farm from January to May 2013. A total of 156 sows received a vaginal temperature logger for 6 days post partum and 43 sows remained without loggers (negative control group). Vaginal temperature was measured at 10-minute intervals. Rectal temperature, feed intake, general condition, and vaginal discharge were evaluated daily.

Results: The sows showed a clear circadian rhythm of vaginal temperature, with minimal mean temperature 39.0°C (standard deviation [SD] 0.5°C) from 5:00 am to 6:00 am and maximum mean temperature 39.4°C (SD 0.5°C) from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm (P < .05). Day post partum (P < .01), time of day (P < .01), age (P < .01), general condition (P < .01), vaginal discharge (P < .01), and treatment for postpartum dysgalactia syndrome (P < .01) had effects on rectal and vaginal temperature.

Implications: Measurement of body temperature should be made at the same time every day. Use of vaginal temperature loggers is a practicable method for on-farm studies to gain more information about the course of body temperature in postpartum sows. Body temperature should not be used as the single criterion for the decision to administer medical treatment.

Keywords: postpartum dysgalactia syndrome, rectal temperature, temperature logger, vaginal temperature

RIS citationCite as: Stiehler T, Heuwieser W, Pfützner A, et al. The course of rectal and vaginal temperature in early postpartum sows. J Swine Health Prod 2015;23(2):72-83.

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