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Osteochondrosis in pigs

a study of the effects of free-range housing in a herd of fattening pigs

Etterlin, Pernille Engelsen (2016). Osteochondrosis in pigs. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:50
ISBN 978-91-576-8602-2
eISBN 978-91-576-8603-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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Abstract

Osteochondrosis (OC) is a growth cartilage disease initiated by ischemia which causes a focal delay in the endochondral ossification. It is a common joint disorder in fattening pigs causing lameness and joint condemnation at slaughter. Another cause of lameness and joint condemnation in fatteners is Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae arthritis (ERA).

Pigs in organic production more often have joints condemned at slaughter than do pigs in conventional production. Outdoor access is mandatory in organic production, and the aim of this thesis was to examine whether a housing type that is common in organic production affects the prevalence of OC, ERA and joint condemnation at slaughter in fatteners. Fatteners were also scored for their gait to evaluate any association between lameness and OC, ERA and joint condemnation.

Post-mortem examination of joints showed that 95% of examined fatteners had OC. Pigs that could range freely indoors and had access to pasture and an outdoor paddock had more prevalent and more severe OC than did pigs confined to conventional small indoor pens. One explanation may be that free-range pigs are more active and receive more load on their joints, which may promote OC development. Pigs with many and severe OC lesions had their gait affected more than did pigs with less OC. Free-range pigs did, however, not show more lameness than confined housed pigs. Exercise strengthens muscles, tendons and bone tissue, which may render the free-range pigs less clinically affected by OC. A 100% seroprevalence of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was detected in both free-range and confined pigs, but no joints with ERA were diagnosed. The association between lameness and joint condemnations was poor, and the joint condemnation rate appears to be a bad assessment of joint health.

Computed tomography scans of hock joints in wild boars indicate that OC is rare in wild boars. As wild boars roam and are hunted, selection pressure may have favoured those with healthy joints that are well adapted to an active life. More research on wild boars and hybrids between domestic pigs and wild boars may help understand which features in domestic pigs need alteration to secure enhancement of their joint health.

In summary, changes in housing systems and a pig breed with more robust joints may be needed for a sustainable organic pork production.

Authors/Creators:Etterlin, Pernille Engelsen
Title:Osteochondrosis in pigs
Subtitle:a study of the effects of free-range housing in a herd of fattening pigs
Alternative abstract:
LanguageAbstract
Swedish

Osteokondros (OC) hos slaktsvin är en vanlig rubbning i tillväxtbrosket som orsakar ledinflammation och hälta samt ledkassation vid slakt. Ledinflammation orsakat av rödsjukebakterien är en annan orsak till hälta och ledkassation hos slaktsvin.

Grisar i ekologisk produktion får oftare leder kasserade vid slakt jämfört med grisar i konventionell uppfödning. Avhandlingen undersökte om skillnader i stallmiljön för dessa två produktionsformer påverkar förekomsten av OC och rödsjukeartrit hos slaktsvin. Sambandet mellan klinisk hälta under uppfödningen och ledförändringar samt ledkassation utvärderades också.

Frigående slaktgrisar i flock med tillgång till rastgård, betesmark utomhus och stall med djupströbädd, hade högre förekomst och mer allvarlig OC än slaktgrisar i konventionella boxar inomhus. Grisar med mycket och svår OC var mera halta än de med lindrigare OC, varför det var överraskande att de frigående grisarna inte var mer halta än grisar i boxar. En förklaring kan vara att frigående grisar är mer aktiva och belastar lederna mer, vilket leder till mer OC. Samtidig stärker motion muskulatur, senor och skelettvävnad vilket gör att gången hos de frigående grisarna påverkas mindre av OC. Resultaten indikerar dock att hältundersökning av gris är ett otillförlitligt mått på ledhälsa.

Sambandet mellan ledkassation och hälta var lågt och inga grisar utvecklade rödsjukeartrit.

Vildsvin tillhör samma art som tamsvin varför förekomsten av OC i hasleden hos vildsvin undersöktes med datortomografi. Få vildsvin hade OC vilket kan bero på att de är utsatta för ett evolutionärt tryck där de är beroende av bra ledhälsa för att överleva ute i naturen.

I ekologisk produktion är det ett krav att grisar ska kunna röra sig fritt över större ytor. Avhandlingen indikerar att detta kan leda till sämre ledhälsa hos tamsvin. Sammantaget föreslås att ändringar i stallmiljön eller att en annan grisras med mer robusta leder kan behövas för en hållbar ekologisk slaktsvin produktion.

Series/Journal:Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae (1652-6880)
Year of publishing :May 2016
Depositing date:28 April 2016
Volume:2016:50
Number of Pages:71
Papers/manuscripts:
NumberReferences
IEtterlin, P.E., Ytrehus, B., Lundeheim, N., Heldmer, E., Österberg, J. and Ekman, S. (2014). Effects of free-range and confined housing on joint health in a herd of fattening pigs. BMC Veterinary Research 10(1), 208.
IIEtterlin, P.E., Morrison, DA., Österberg, J., Ytrehus, B., Heldmer, E., and Ekman, S. (2015). Osteochondrosis, but not lameness is more frequent in free-range pigs than in confined herd-mates. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 57(1), 63.
IIIEtterlin, P.E., Ekman, S., Strand, R., Olstad, K., Ley, C. (2016). Frequency pattern of osteochondrosis, synovial fossae and articular indentations in the talus and the distal tibia of domestic pigs and wild boars. (In manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8602-2
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8603-9
ISSN:1652-6880
Language:English
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L73 Animal diseases
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Medical Bioscience
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Pathobiology
Agrovoc terms:swine, meat animals, sus scrofa, osteochondritis, erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, joints (body parts), locomotion, lameness, aetiology, animal housing, free range husbandry, organic husbandry, tomography, sweden
Keywords:pigs, fattening pigs, joints, osteochondrosis, lameness, free-range, housing, gait scoring, erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, computed tomography, pathology, wild boars
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3405
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3405
ID Code:13316
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health
External funders:Professor Gerhard Forssells Stipendiestiftelse and FORMAS and Stiftelsen Albert Hjärre-fonden
Deposited By: Pernille Engelsen Etterlin
Deposited On:28 Apr 2016 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:29 Mar 2017 22:01

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