#16-175

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Date Full Report Received

Date Abstract Report Received

Investigation

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Sow lameness is a major production disease affecting welfare and profitability. In 2014, Karriker and colleagues created a comprehensive swine lameness diagnostic manual which incorporated several diagnostic tools and pre- and post-mortem assessments. However; the manual had not been used to determine if it could classify lameness etiology. In 2015, Johnson and colleagues were awarded a grant through the Iowa Attorney General Office to begin the swine lameness diagnostic manual validation. The research team identified that a “handling course” needed to be added to the Iowa Attorney General Office objectives. The objectives of this proposal were to (1) build a handling course (a ramp and wooden boards) and (2) to detail sow locomotion by identified lameness etiology from the manual. A ramp and wooden boards were constructed. A total of 58mixed parity sows (20 non-lame [control] and 38 naturally occurring lame) were walked over the ramp and the wooden boards. After completion of the handling course a swine veterinarian used the swine lameness diagnostic manual to categorize lame sows into one of three etiology systems; (a) integumentary, (b) musculoskeletal, and (c) integumentary/musculoskeletal.
Our results from this project showed:

  • Control- and musculoskeletal sows were the slowest to traverse the ramp.
  • Sow lameness etiology did not affect the time needed to traverse the wooden boards.
  • Sow lameness etiology did not affect the time needed to traverse the entire handling course.
  • Control sows needed more animal-human interaction to traverse the ramp compared to lame sows.
  • Sow lameness etiology did not affect the animal-human interaction needed to traverse the wooden boards.