Tail biting induces a strong acute phase response and tail-end inflammation in finishing pigs

The extent of inflammation associated with tail biting in finishing pigs was evaluated. Tail histopathology, carcass condemnation and the concentration of three acute phase proteins (APPs), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid-A (SAA) and haptoglobin (Hp), were examined in 12 tail-bitten and 13 control pigs.
Monday 20 September 2010 (7 years 9 months 29 days ago)
The extent of inflammation associated with tail biting in finishing pigs was evaluated. Tail histopathology, carcass condemnation and the concentration of three acute phase proteins (APPs), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid-A (SAA) and haptoglobin (Hp), were examined in 12 tail-bitten and 13 control pigs.

The median concentrations of APPs were higher (P < 0.01) in bitten (CRP 617.5 mg/L, range 80.5–969.9; SAA 128.0 mg/L, 6.2–774.4; Hp 2.8 g/L, 1.6–3.5) than in control pigs (CRP 65.7 mg/L, 28.4–180.4; SAA 6.2 mg/L, 6.2–21.4; Hp 1.2 g/L, 0.9–1.5). There was a tendency for APP concentrations to rise with the histopathological score but the differences were only statistically significant between some of the scores. Five (42%) bitten cases and one (8%) control pig had partial carcass condemnations owing to abscesses (P = 0.07). The results show that tail biting induces an inflammatory response in the tail end leading to an acute phase response and formation of carcass abscesses.

M. Heinonen, T. Orro, T. Kokkonen, C. Munsterhjelm, O. Peltoniemi and A. Valros. Tail biting induces a strong acute phase response and tail-end inflammation in finishing pigs. The Veterinary Journal. Vol. 184 (3): 303-307.

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