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Physiometabolic responses to road transport in weaned piglets for a short period and the effects of straw bedding

Roldan‐Santiago, Patricia, Trujillo‐Ortega, María, Borderas‐Tordesillas, Fernando, Martínez‐Rodríguez, Roberto, Mora‐Medina, Patricia, Flores‐Peinado, Salvador, Sánchez‐Hernández, Mónica, García‐Herrera, Ricardo, González‐Lozano, Miguel, Mota‐Rojas, Daniel
Animal science journal = 2015 v.86 no.5 pp. 563-571
blood, blood glucose, calcium, hematocrit, hybrids, pH, piglets, potassium, sodium, straw, stress response, suckling
The aim of the study was to evaluate the physiometabolic responses to stress in hybrid suckling piglets that were weaned and transported at different ages on a paved road under two vehicle conditions: with and without a layer of straw bedding. The piglets were weaned and transported at the following ages: 8, 15 and 22 days. The duration of each trip was 1 h. The piglets in each group were further divided into two sub‐groups for two distinct experimental transport conditions: (1) over the road with straw bedding; and (2) over the same road but without straw bedding. A total of three repetitions were performed for each experimental condition. In order to assess their responses to weaning‐ and transport‐induced stress, the study evaluated a thorough physiometabolic blood profile. The 8‐ and 15‐day‐old piglets transported without straw bedding showed increases in their pCO2, blood glucose, blood lactate levels and the percentage of hematocrit, but a decrease of pO2 upon arrival (P < 0.05). In contrast, the 22‐day‐old piglets transported on the same road with straw bedding were able to re‐establish their blood concentrations of lactate, pCO2, pO2, Na+, K+, Ca2+ and pH during the trip (P < 0.05).