Porcine ketosis: A case report and literature summary

Janet E. Alsop, DVM; Daniel Hurnik, DVM, MSc; and Robert J. Bildfell, DVM, MSc, Dip ACVP

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ketosis as a metabolic disease is generally not recognized under commercial swine production methods. This case report involves a sow presented for a Caesarean delivery of her piglets. During the last few weeks of gestation the sow was anorexic, had elevated liver enzymes, ketonuria, and mild ketonemia. After surgical delivery of a normal litter the urinary ketone concentrations decreased slowly. Examination of the sow,s viscera following slaughter showed significant fatty degeneration of the liver. Ketosis may develop whenever there is a change from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism. In the short term, ketosis is a safety measure, as ketones can be used as an energy source in glucose deficiency. In the long term, ketones accumulate in extracellular fluid and can cause nausea and inappetance. Fat accumulation can occur in hepatocytes during prolonged or repeated episodes of ketosis. In both humans and pigs, placental hormone production and increased fetal demands can have a diabetogenic effect, stimulating the production of ketones.There is no agreement as to the effects of maternal hyperketonemia on fetal development and energy stores at birth. Porcine ketosis could play a role in the overall herd health of commercial swine farms as it could be one factor influencing lactational appetite and weight loss. Prevention of porcine ketosis and related problems involves balancing energy intakes with energy demands, reducing weight and fat gain during late gestation, and avoiding any condition that can result in inappetance, especially during late gestation or lactation.

Keywords: ketosis

RIS citationCite as: Alsop JE, Hurnik D, Bildfell RJ. Porcine ketosis: A case report and literature summary. J Swine Health Prod 1994;2(2):5-8.

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