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Don't obviate the effect low water consumption can have on results

Upon medicating water, the doses should be repeated with a time interval that prevents plasma levels from dropping below the minimum effective concentration and exceeding the toxic concentration.

Monday 2 January 2012 (6 years 8 months 17 days ago)
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The dosage of medicines must be carefully calculated in order to reach the plasma levels necessary to produce a therapeutic effect. This therapeutic or effective dose is found between the minimum effective dose and the maximum effective dose. Upon medicating water, the doses should be repeated with a time interval that prevents plasma levels from dropping below the minimum effective concentration and exceeding the toxic concentration.

Plasmatic concentration

Left chart:

Plasma concentrations after administering a therapeutic dose -----, a sub therapeutic dose ----- and a toxic dose -----.

Right chart:

Administration of repeated doses of a drug with a time interval that prevents plasma levels from dropping below the minimum effective concentration -----.

There are several things that can cause plasma levels to drop below the minimum effective concentration: Error upon calculating the necessary dose, characteristics intrinsic to the commercial product (E.g. the product is not very soluble and precipitates), unfamiliarity with the medication system, etc. But the most common reason is that the estimated water consumption used to calculate the necessary medication is incorrect. This is the main cause of sub therapeutic dosing.

Water consumption
Chart (compiled by author): Estimations of nursery piglet water consumption in different, real farms situations.

The motives for low consumption can vary. Those that are a consequence of the installation, we sum up in the following table:

Location Problem Consequences
Well Slurry contamination ↓ Palatability, abrupt ↓ in consumption and performance
Bacterial contamination Chronic ↓ in performance
Algae contamination Obstruction, ↓ volume, ↓ pressure
Sedimentation (sand, etc.) Obstruction, ↓ volume, ↓ pressure
Increase in salt concentration ↓ Palatability and possible intoxication
Filter Sediment in the line Obstruction, ↓ volume, ↓ pressure
Absence of filter ↑↑ Obstruction, ↓↓ H2O availability
Pressure variations Variations in volume and availability
Water shortages ↓ volume and possible salt intoxication
Tank Inadequate, or lack of, lids Contamination and obstruction, ↓ consumption and performance
Mildew contamination Possible ↓ in performance
Antibiotics in the float valve Obstructions and residues in the meat
Valve/float valve problems Medication dose dilution
Valve/float valve blockage H2O shortage, ↓ volume and possible salt intoxication
Inadequate capacity Difficulty dosing medication, pressure variations
Inadequate situation ↓ volume, ↓ H2O availability
Inadequate height ↓ Pressure, ↓ H2O availability
Distribution Low pressure ↓ H2O availability with maximum demand
Variable pressure ↑↓ H2O availability based on demand
Reduced diameter (biofilm) ↓ volume, ↓ H2O availability
Long conduits ↓ Pressure, ↓ H2O availability
Insufficient diameter ↓ volume, ↓ H2O availability
Inaccessible slope ↓ H2O availability
Water too hot ↓ H2O consumption
Frost ↓ H2O availability
Trough Inadequate flow (low) ↓ volume, ↓ H2O availability
Too high ↑ Difficulty drinking, ↓ H2O availability, ↑ losses
Too low ↑ Difficulty drinking, ↓ H2O availability, ↑ losses
Incorrect angle ↑ Difficulty drinking, ↓ H2O availability, ↑ losses
Insufficient number ↓ H2O availability (above all with “dominated” piglets)
Excessively close together ↓ H2O availability (above all with “dominated” piglets)
To close to the wall ↓ H2O availability (above all with “dominated” piglets)
Inadequate for the age ↑ Difficulty drinking, ↓ H2O availability, ↑ losses
Losses ↑ medication and slurry losses
Inadequate maintenance ↓ volume, ↓ H2O availability
One next to another ↓ volume, volume variations, ↓ H2O availability

The presence of disease, stress due to cold or drinking water with an elevated temperature can also negatively affect water consumption.

Higher water temperatures reduces consumption:

TERMOGRAPHY

Termography: water tanks for medicating fattening pigs.

Histogram

Histogram: Shows the percentage frequency of the temperature of the selected area "H"

Histogram

PROFILE: Shows the profile of the temperature selected from the line “P”

Source: Marco i Collell S.L. with testo 880-2 thermal imaging camera.

On occasion, lack of consumption can be the consequence of low volume.

Water volume (L/min.) based on tube diameter, with a water velocity of 1,22 m/sec. (according to MWPS recommendations) and without any important frictions.
Tube diameter (interior)
Volume
inches
mm
Liters/minute
1/4
6
2
1/2
13
10
3/4
19
21
1
25
37
1 ¼
32
58
Source: Approximate estimations of the author.

Increasing volume can be easy; it’s enough to just exchange the drinking troughs for higher volume models, although another solution is to install a pressure set. The effect this pressure change will have on the volume is easy to estimate. For example, if we reduce the pressure by half, from 280 kPa to 140 kPa:

We increase the volume by 71%

If, on the other hand, we double the pressure, from 70 kPa to 140 kPa:

We increase the volume by 141%

Knowing real water consumption is essential for correct water medication, the ideal would be to install water counters and take note of the daily consumption.

Here we have an example of efficient control of water consumption:

Here we have an example of efficient control of water consumption

Source: Bird N. 2001 dicamUSA-Building Management Services, Fremont (NE).

When we under dose we don’t achieve the therapeutic effect hoped for, we waste water, the animals’ health and reproductive performance suffers, and the worst is that we run the risk of creating resistance problems.

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