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Objective—To evaluate the effect of 2 oxytocin products administered to sows at the onset of fetal expulsion on the integrity of umbilical cords, meconium staining, and piglet mortality.

Animals—2099 neonatal pigs.

Procedure—180 parturient sows were randomly assigned to 3 stratified groups of 60 sows each. Two groups of sows were injected IM at the onset of fetal expulsion with 1 of 2 oxytocin commercial products (20, 40, or 50 U for sows weighing 120 to 150 kg, 151 to 250 kg, or ≥ 251 kg, respectively). Control sows were treated IM with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Farrowing time, expulsion intervals, and numbers of stillborn and liveborn piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were evaluated for inspiratory effort, heart rates, and degree of meconium staining of skin (nonstained, and moderately or severely stained). Umbilical cords were classified as normal in appearance, edematous, congested, hemorrhagic, or ruptured.

Results—Oxytocin-treated sows had a significant decrease in farrowing time and expulsion intervals and also had a significantly higher number of stillborn piglets per litter, compared with control sows. The number of piglets per litter with ruptured and hemorrhagic umbilical cords was significantly greater in oxytocin- treated sows, compared with control sows. In near-death stillborn piglets, oxytocin treatment significantly decreased inspiratory efforts at birth and increased the rate and severity of meconium staining, compared with saline treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Oxytocin given to sows at the onset of fetal expulsion significantly increases the rate of fetal distress, anoxia, and intrapartum death in piglets. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1571–1574)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of 2 doses of caffeine on metabolic variables in neonata pigs with peripartum asphyxia

Animals—180 neonatal pigs

Procedures—Neonatal pigs were assigned to 2 groups (groups P and F) on the basis of results for a vitality scale (passed or failed, respectively). Within each group, there were 3 subgroups of 30 pigs each. Within each group, the 3 subgroups received a placebo that consisted of an empty gelatin capsule, a gelatin capsule that contained 20 mg of caffeine, and a gelatin capsule that contained 35 mg of caffeine, respectively; all capsules were administered orally (0 hours). Blood samples were collected immediately before and 24 hours after capsule administration.

Results—Pigs in groups P and F that received 20 or 35 mg of caffeine had significant increases in triglyceride concentrations. All pigs in groups P and F had a significant decrease in lactate concentrations, although the placebo-treated pigs in group F had larger decreases than did the group F pigs treated with 20 or 35 mg of caffeine. Glucose concentrations increased significantly in group F pigs treated with 20 or 35 mg of caffeine (30% and 50%, respectively), whereas glucose concentrations remained unchanged in group P pigs. In pigs treated with 35 mg of caffeine, the final weight obtained for group F was approximately 8% lower than that obtained for group P

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administering caffeine immediately after birth to neonatal pigs with severe oxygen restriction resulted in significant improvements in metabolic variables. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1214-1219)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research