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Acta Vet Scand. 1989;30(1):55-62.

Epidemiological studies of piglet diarrhoea in intensively managed Danish sow herds. II. Post-weaning diarrhoea.


This study comprised 48,931 litters in 89 sow herds. During the study (1976-82) weaning age decreased from approx. 42 days to approx. 30 days. The mean incidence of post-weaning diarrhoea was 6.0% of litters weaned, with little variation by year but with considerable variation among herds. Within the individual herd increased incidence occurred over limited periods, probably associated with specific infections. Litters with diarrhoea during the suckling period had increased risk of post-weaning diarrhoea. The incidence of post-weaning diarrhoea increased with litter size at weaning. Thus, a litter of 11-12 piglets at weaning had 1.2 times higher risk than litters with 8-10 piglets. In contrast to pre-weaning diarrhoea, there was no association between parity of the sow and diarrhoea in the litter after weaning. Litters weaned below 2 weeks of age had a 2-fold risk of developing diarrhoea after weaning and a 2.4-fold higher mortality rate than did litters weaned at 6-7 weeks. Similarly, litters weaned at an individual piglet weight below 3 kg bodyweight had a 3-fold higher risk of developing diarrhoea after weaning and a 5-fold higher mortality rate than did pigs from litters weaned at a bodyweight of 7-8 kg. The incidence of post-weaning diarrhoea decreased with increasing herd size. Piglets from litters with post-weaning diarrhoea had reduced weight gains after weaning and were 2.3 days older at 25 kg bodyweight than piglets from non-diarrhoeic litters. Likewise, diarrhoea after weaning was associated with an increased incidence of diseases of the skin and respiratory tract. Thus the risk of contracting respiratory disease was 4 times greater in diarrhoeic litters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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