Atlas of pathology
Differential diagnosis: ViceOther
This piglet has died from the most common form of neonatal deaths, due to crushing or overlay underneath the abdomen or legs, as part of physical injury to the piglet by the sow. Crushing is suggested to account for around 50 % of all piglet deaths, usually in the first week of life. In farms that use open farrowing areas, without any form of sow restraint device, then piglet deaths due to crushing will be even higher. The widespread usage of metal crates or cradle devices that restrain the sow during farrowing and lactation, which were first adopted in the 1960’s, lead to a marked reduction in this form of piglet death. There are various factors for crushing cases, such as slippery floors in the lactation pens, which make it difficult for the sow to lie down or get up easily. Also, if the sows are too fat, then they are less active and more likely to drop to the ground suddenly. The major disturbances caused when sows are fed may also lead to many excitable sows jumping up and down. Heating devices in lactation pens need to carefully managed, to prevent piglets staying too close to the sow.