Iron deficiency anemia

Causes of anemia are several, but its clinical form is especially seen in piglets causing paleness and affecting its growth.

Information

This disease mainly affects piglets because they are born with limited iron reserves, wich is an essential component of blood cells. If piglet do not get access to iron during the first 2-3 weeks, the ability of red blood cells to absorb oxygen is reduced (anemia). Piglets raised in pens on soil, can get iron from the soil itself. 

 

Symptoms

All ages (mainly lactating piglets)

  • Pale skin.
  • Quick breath 
  • Sometimes jaundice (skin with a light yellowish appearance).
  • Eyes mucosal membranes are pale.
  • Signs of bleeding.
  • Weakness.

 

Causes / Contributing Factors

It can occur for several reasons:

  • Loss of blood from hemorrhage.
  • Lack of iron injection during the first week of life.
  • Diet defiencies, particularly of iron and copper.
  • Disease - infection or poisoning (for example warfarin, parasites).

 

Diagnosis

It is based on clinical signs, lack of iron supplements and hemoglobin levels in blood below 8g/100ml.

 

Control/Prevention

  • Give an iron dextran injection (1000mg per sow).
  • Piglets are born with low iron reserves. The easiest prevention method is to give piglets an injection of iron dextran (150- 200mg of iron dextran during the first week of life).
  • Perform regular deworming programs.
  • More specific treatments according to the situation.