Types and doses of injectable medications given to periparturient sows

Barbara E. Straw DVM, PhD1, Eric J. Bush DVM, MS2, and Catherine E. Dewey DVM, PhD3
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • | 2 United States Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services—Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80521.
  • | 3 Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1.


Objective—To determine types and doses of injectable medications given to periparturient sows and reasons for administering those medications, and to compare medication practices among farms of different sizes.


Sample Population—301 farms; 231,016 periparturient sows.

Procedure—A survey was used to obtain information regarding medications given to sows during the farrowing period. State and federal veterinary medical officers completed surveys during their final interview with producers who had participated in the National Animal Health Monitoring System's (NAHMS) Swine 95 study. Data were summarized and treatment regimens compared among farms of different sizes.

Results—More than a third of the sows received medications during the farrowing period. The most common reasons for administering medications were routine preventive treatment and treatment of dystocia, uterine discharge, and poor appetite. The most commonly used medications for treatment of sick sows were oxytocin, procaine penicillin G, and B vitamins. A high percentage of medications were either not indicated for the specific condition or used at greater or less than the approved dose. In general, treatment rates and medications used did not differ among farms of different sizes.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Better treatment protocols are needed to provide more appropriate treatment of sick sows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:510–515)