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To determine prevalence and risk factors for decubital ulcers of the shoulder in sows.


Descriptive cross-sectional study.

Sample population

All females of breeding age in a large confinement swine facility.


1,916 females were examined for lesions of the skin over the tuber of the spine of the scapula and for body condition scoring. Observational data were combined with sow data (parity, date of farrowing, litter size) contained in computerized records.


Decubital ulcers were observed in 8.3% of females, predominantly lactating sows. Ulcer prevalence was strongly associated with time after farrowing. Lesions apparently healed rapidly after weaning. Ulcer prevalence was associated with low body condition scores, but was not associated with parity.


Decubital ulcers are a multifactorial condition. Housing on concrete floors per se did not result in ulcers. Prolonged recumbency during parturition, reduced activity in early lactation, periparturient illness, thin body condition, moist skin, and floor type are potential risk factors. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1058–1062)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Dairy herds in Ohio were selected by stratified random sampling for participation in a disease-monitoring study to relate Streptococcus agalactiae intramammary prevalence to herd management and environmental conditions. Of 48 herds studied, 27 herds had at least 1 cow infected with this pathogen. Management and environmental conditions were assessed by direct observation as well as by an interview with the dairy producers. One-way anova or χ2 analysis, with presence or absence of Streptococcus agalactiae as the dependent variable, was used to test each of 70 independent variables. Variables found significant at P < 0.20 were further evaluated by use of logistic regression. Our sample size permitted only 4 independent variables to be simultaneously evaluated by logistic regression. The most predictive risk factors were identified as poor teat and udder hygiene, poor environmental sanitation, large herd population, and use of a shared washcloth for premilking cleaning of teats and udders.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To estimate herd prevalence of Salmonella spp, fecal specimens were obtained for culture from neonatal calves of 47 Ohio dairy herds. Of the 452 calves tested, 10 calves from 7 farms were culturepositive. Salmonella serotypes isolated were S dublin, S typhimurium, S enteritidis, S agona, S mbandaka, and S montevideo. Bulk tank milk filters from these dairies were also submitted for culture. Salmonella sp was isolated from 1 of the 50 filters, and 2 calves from this herd were found to be shedding Salmonella sp of the same serotype.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Forty-eight herds participating in the 1988/1989 Ohio National Animal Health Monitoring System dairy project were monitored for 1 year to determine the effects of environment and management on mortality in preweaned calves. Environmental factors were evaluated by veterinarians during monthly visits to the herds. Management procedures were measured through the use of a questionnaire administered near the end of the project. Mortality in preweaned calves was calculated for each herd by using data from project records on calf mortality and animal inventory, which were collected monthly by veterinarians. Relationships between the management/environment variables and calf mortality were examined by use of analysis of covariance. Herd size, days on a nipple feeder, navel disinfection, type of housing, and whether each calf observed with diarrhea was treated with antibiotics were the variables that had an impact on herd mortality. These variables explained approximately 39% of the variation in mortality among herds.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To define temporal patterns and risk factors for development of decubital ulcers over the tuber of the spine of the scapula (tuber) of lactating sows.


Prospective study.


147 late-gestation sows and gilts.


Females were examined for skin lesions over the tubers, and body condition score, depth of back fat and depth of soft tissues over the tuber (tuber depth) were determined (day 0). On days 5, 12, 18,40, 54, and 68, sows were examined for lesions over the tubers. Data on sow parity, date of farrowing, total number of pigs born/litter, and number of stillborn pigs/litter were obtained from farm records.


Ulcers were recorded for 33 of 206 (16%) shoulders by day 5. Peak prevalence (99/206; 48% of shoulders) was on day 12, and all ulcers had resolved by day 68. Ulcers were more common on the right shoulder. Considerable resolution of ulcers was evident between days 12 and 18, when sows still were housed in farrowing crates. Parity and tuber depth were significantly associated with ulcers and ulcer severity (size) on day 12.

Clinical Implications—

Decubital ulcers in lactating sows are a multifactorial condition. Factors such as floor type are important, but other physiologic and behavioral factors of periparturient swine, including body weight, body condition and mobility of lategestation animals, duration of farrowing, and patterns of recumbency and activity, appear to be important in the pathogenesis of lesions. Housing sows on hard floors is not a sufficient cause of decubital ulcers over the scapula. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:1173–1178)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association