Effect of lameness on sow longevity

Sukumarannair S. Anil, Leena Anil, John Deen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective-To analyze the association of lameness and performance variables on sow longevity by use of time-to-event analysis. Design-Cohort study. Animals-674 sows from a commercial breeding herd. Procedures-A lameness assessment was performed on each sow. Data on farrowing performance and longevity were collected for the sows during 3 or fewer parities from the database of the herd during 2005 and 2006. The association of risk factors with sow longevity within 350 days after lameness assessment was analyzed via Cox regression analysis. Pigs per day, total production days, and survival at 350 days after lameness evaluation were compared between lame and nonlame sows. Results-Numbers of preweaning baby pig deaths, stillborn pigs, and mummified pigs were negatively associated with sow longevity within 350 days after lameness assessment. A higher number of pigs born alive and younger parity of sows were protective. Lame sows had a higher risk (1.710 times as high) of removal from the herd within 350 days after lameness assessment. The number of pigs born alive per day, survival of sows at 350 days, and total number of days in the herd were lower in lame sows. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results of this study indicated significant differences in the survivability of lame and nonlame sows in a commercial herd. Parity and farrowing performance variables were factors influencing sow longevity in this herd. Producers need to minimize sow lameness and remove lame sows from a herd early (when treatment is not an option) to minimize economic loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-738
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2009


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