Iron Deficiency Anaemia

 

Causal agent

Iron deficiency

 

Age group

3 to 6 weeks.  Sows deficient may produce stillborn piglets

 

Clinical signs

 

 

Pale pigs which are hairy, particularly in the nursery

 

Reduced feed intake and weight gain

 

 

Increase in other conditions – diarrhoea, Glässer’s for example

 

Pigs may demonstrate laboured breathing

 

 

 

Adults

Increased stillborn rates in iron deficiency in the diet

 

Post-mortem Lesions

 

 

Anaemia with thin watery blood.  Possibly enlarged fatty liver with ascities

 

 

Sow milk naturally deficient in iron.  Pigs born normal and goes into an iron deficiency crisis by 2-3 weeks of suckling iron deficient milk

 

Diagnosis

 

Reduced haemogloblin level less than 70g/l – normal 90g/l

Response to treatment

Check sow iron levels – less than 9 mmol/l

Treatment

 

Ensure iron injections correct – 100-200 mg injection within first week post-farrowing

Check when the iron is being administered

Ensure Vit E levels in the sows – can result in iron toxicity problems

Note there is generally no need to provide supplemental iron to outdoor reared pigs.

Common differentials

 

Gastric ulcers, Ileitis.