Atlas of pathology
Where: genitourinary system, female genitourinay tract
Differential diagnosis: Other
Such a system enables faeces to build up behind the sow such that the vulva is permanently in contact with faeces allowing ascending bacterial infection. In this farm the breeding herd suffered chronic under performance which farrowing rates consistently below 80%, many returns to service at abnormal intervals associated with purulent vulval discharges and sporadic lateterm abortions. The problem was resolved by cutting the bottom 10cm off the gate and regularly removing any faecal build up. The access passageways behind the stalls became more contaminated but reproductive health improved dramatically.
Such confined systems are prohibited in UK but are still widely used throughout the world either for the whole or part of gestation. Sow comfort is generally deemed to be compromised by such confinement.