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A field perspective on lameness in grow-finish pigs


By Jennifer Shike, Farm Jounal’s Pork, 13 November 2020, photo credit: Nutramix

Lameness is the no 1 cause of mortality in mid- to late-finishing stage pigs, Kathleen Wood, DVM, Christensen Farms, said in a recent webinar sponsored by the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV).

Wood said farms that normally had 10% to 25% stiffness in grow-finish pigs grew to 25% to 40% stiffness this year. She attributes the increase to a variety of factors including infectious arthritis, injury or trauma, as well as leg conformation problems or defects. She also attributed some of the increase in incidence to increased awareness of stiffness after a return to closer observation as barn visits resumed after a lag due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When coronavirus hit, we were social distancing and barn time took a hit,” Wood said. “Going back in the barns now, the stiffness has been a lot worse than it was before.”
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