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An investigation of various hematological and biochemical parameters to assess the health of nursery pigs

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Title: An investigation of various hematological and biochemical parameters to assess the health of nursery pigs
Author: Perri, Amanda
Department: Department of Population Medicine
Program: Population Medicine
Advisor: O'Sullivan, TerriFriendship, Bob
Abstract: This thesis investigates hematological and biochemical parameters used to assess the health of nursery pigs. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels were measured using standard laboratory serum testing and a handheld meter to diagnose ketosis in newly weaned pigs. Pigs displaying chomping behaviour and thin pigs had higher BHB values than clinically normal pen-mates. The two diagnostic methods used were 94% correlated indicating good agreement. Hemoglobin levels from 1095 pigs at weaning and 3-weeks post-weaning were measured. Anemic and iron deficient pigs were found at weaning on almost all farms and anemia was negatively associated with post-weaning growth. Additionally, a high level of zinc oxide (≥2000 mg/kg) in starter rations was associated with an increased likelihood of anemia post-weaning. These findings suggest that iron supplementation practices aren’t sufficient, particularly for large piglets. Future work is needed to gain a better understanding of zinc oxide usage and its association with post-weaning anemia.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9223
Date: 2015-08
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