Effects of and factors associated with umbilical hernias in a swine herd

Roberto Searcy-Bernal From the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Searcy-Bemal, Gardner, Hird); and the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali BC 21100, México (Searcy-Bemal).

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Ian A. Gardner From the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Searcy-Bemal, Gardner, Hird); and the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali BC 21100, México (Searcy-Bemal).

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David W. Hird From the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Searcy-Bemal, Gardner, Hird); and the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali BC 21100, México (Searcy-Bemal).

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Summary

Of 2,958 pigs from a 320-sow, farrow-to-finish herd that were evaluated from birth to slaughter, 44 (1.5%) developed umbilical hernias. Hernias were detected mostly (34/44) when the pigs were between 9 and 14 weeks of age and were not fatal despite lack of treatment. Among littermates, weight gain prior to weaning was significantly (P = 0.04) lower in pigs that developed hernias (144.7 g/d) by 30 weeks of age than for nonaffected pigs (163.3 g/d), but growth rates from weaning to about 45 kg did not differ significantly.

Records of pigs sired by 13 purebred boars were used to evaluate breed-of-sire associations. Pigs sired by American Spotted (n = 19; relative risk [rr] = 8.3; 95% confidence interval [ci] = 2.1 to 32.7) and Duroc boars (n = 378; rr = 2.1; 95% ci = 1.0 to 4.5) were more likely to develop umbilical hernias than were pigs (n = 1,644) sired by Yorkshire boars. Umbilical lesions (omphalitis or umbilical abscess) were associated (rr = 7.6; 95% ci = 1.2 to 49.5) with umbilical herniation on an individual basis, but the association was not evident (rr = 1.2; 95% ci = 0.2 to 7.6) when the litter was the unit of analysis. Analysis of sire associations, stratified by umbilical lesion status, indicated increased risks in the nonlesioned stratum for the American Spotted (rr = 8.7) and Duroc sires (rr = 2.2). Adequate comparisons of sire breed in the lesioned stratum could not be made, because umbilical lesions were an infrequent finding (9/2,958). For Yorkshire-sired pigs, there was a 13.7 times higher risk (95% ci = 2.2 to 86.1) of umbilical hernias if the pig had an umbilical lesion earlier in life. Significant (P < 0.05) associations were not evident between umbilical hernia and sex, or prophylactic treatment with Oxytetracycline. Findings from the study provided support for genetic and infectious hypotheses for umbilical hernias.

Summary

Of 2,958 pigs from a 320-sow, farrow-to-finish herd that were evaluated from birth to slaughter, 44 (1.5%) developed umbilical hernias. Hernias were detected mostly (34/44) when the pigs were between 9 and 14 weeks of age and were not fatal despite lack of treatment. Among littermates, weight gain prior to weaning was significantly (P = 0.04) lower in pigs that developed hernias (144.7 g/d) by 30 weeks of age than for nonaffected pigs (163.3 g/d), but growth rates from weaning to about 45 kg did not differ significantly.

Records of pigs sired by 13 purebred boars were used to evaluate breed-of-sire associations. Pigs sired by American Spotted (n = 19; relative risk [rr] = 8.3; 95% confidence interval [ci] = 2.1 to 32.7) and Duroc boars (n = 378; rr = 2.1; 95% ci = 1.0 to 4.5) were more likely to develop umbilical hernias than were pigs (n = 1,644) sired by Yorkshire boars. Umbilical lesions (omphalitis or umbilical abscess) were associated (rr = 7.6; 95% ci = 1.2 to 49.5) with umbilical herniation on an individual basis, but the association was not evident (rr = 1.2; 95% ci = 0.2 to 7.6) when the litter was the unit of analysis. Analysis of sire associations, stratified by umbilical lesion status, indicated increased risks in the nonlesioned stratum for the American Spotted (rr = 8.7) and Duroc sires (rr = 2.2). Adequate comparisons of sire breed in the lesioned stratum could not be made, because umbilical lesions were an infrequent finding (9/2,958). For Yorkshire-sired pigs, there was a 13.7 times higher risk (95% ci = 2.2 to 86.1) of umbilical hernias if the pig had an umbilical lesion earlier in life. Significant (P < 0.05) associations were not evident between umbilical hernia and sex, or prophylactic treatment with Oxytetracycline. Findings from the study provided support for genetic and infectious hypotheses for umbilical hernias.

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