The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of in-water iodine on piglet growth, the incidence of diarrhea, and the development of deleterious oral conditions. We hypothesized that piglets receiving the sanitizing treatment would have improved growth, lower incidence of diarrhea, and better oral conditions than those piglets not receiving the treatment. A total of 208 weaned piglets were randomly distributed in one of the two experimental conditions: control or treatment (receiving 1 ppm iodine in their drinking water which provided ad libitum). Piglets were weighed 3 times: within 24 h of weaning, and 3 wk and 6 wk after weaning. Swabs were taken from all water nipples and water lines and pooled fecal samples were collected from all pen floors. Fecal samples were also collected from sows at weaning. The swabs and fecal samples were tested for the presence of Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Within 24 h of each weighing, a complete oral examination was performed on each piglet.
No significant difference in growth (P > 0.05) or dental conditions (P > 0.05) was found among treatment groups during the period that iodine was added to the drinking water. After weaning, all deleterious oral conditions increased (oral lesions from weaning to 6 wk, staining and caries from weaning to 3 wk, gingivitis from 3 wk to 6 wk; P < 0.05). Only gingivitis was found to be negatively associated with piglet weight (P < 0.05). Salmonella was cultured only twice from fecal samples and never from water nipples. Only 1 sow tested positive for Salmonella and E. coli O139:K82 and O157:K”V17 were cultured only rarely from the water nipples. No signs of diarrhea were noted throughout the study. Adding an aqueous iodine supplement to nursery pigs, therefore, did not provide an advantage for either growth or oral condition. Deleterious oral conditions do increase after weaning, with gingivitis being associated with lower piglet weight.
AL Tucker, A Farzan, G Cassar, RM Friendship. 2011. Effect of in-water iodine supplementation on weight gain, diarrhea and oral and dental health of nursery pigs. The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 75:292-297.