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Administration of carbetocin after the first piglet was born reduced farrowing duration but compromised colostrum intake in newborn piglets

Jiarpinitnun, Piyarat, Loyawatananan, Sutapa, Sangratkanjanasin, Pemika, Kompong, Kanokwon, Nuntapaitoon, Morakot, Muns, Ramon, De Rensis, Fabio, Tummaruk, Padet
Theriogenology 2019 v.128 pp. 23-30
birth weight, blood, color, colostrum, farrowing, fetus, heart rate, humans, neonates, oxygen, oxytocin, piglets, progeny, sows, udders, umbilical cord
Carbetocin is an oxytocin-like compound with long acting properties that has recently been introduced to both human and domestic animal obstetrics. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of carbetocin administration after the first piglet was born on farrowing duration, birth interval, colostrum consumption and vitality index in newborn piglets. In total, 186 sows and their offspring (n = 2611 piglets) were distributed into three groups: 1) CONTROL: sows were allowed to farrow naturally (n = 66); 2) OXY: sows were administered oxytocin 20 IU intramuscularly after the first piglet was born (n = 62); and 3) CARBE: sows were administered carbetocin 0.6 μg/kg intramuscularly after the first piglet was born (n = 58). The reproductive data of sows including farrowing duration, total number of piglets born per litter (TB), number of piglets born alive per litter (BA), proportion of stillborn piglets per litter (SB) and proportion of mummified fetuses per litter (MF) were recorded. Piglet vitality index including skin colour, integrity of the umbilical cord, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, screaming score, udder stimulation score, movement capacity and number of completed circles around enclosure were determined. Birth weights of the piglets were measured immediately at birth and again at 24 h thereafter to determine the individual colostrum intake of the piglets. On average, the farrowing duration, birth interval and BA were 188.0 ± 95.7 min, 12.5 ± 18.3 min, and 12.3 ± 2.9 piglets per litter, respectively. The farrowing duration of the sows was reduced in CARBE group (151.2 ± 11.9 min) compared to OXY (180.2 ± 11.5 min, P = 0.003) and CONTROL (227.7 ± 11.2 min, P < 0.001) groups. Birth interval of piglets in all categories of birth weight in the CARBE group was shorter than those in the CONTROL group (P < 0.05). However, the colostrum yield of sows in CARBE group (2398 ± 133 g) was lower than CONTROL and OXY groups (3371 ± 125 g and 3549 ± 128 g, respectively; P < 0.001). Similarly, colostrum intake of piglets in the CONTROL and OXY groups was higher than in the CARBE group (276.4 ± 11.0 g, 286.4 ± 13.6 g and 225.3 ± 14.0 g, respectively; P < 0.05). The percentage of stillborn piglets in CARBE was higher than OXY (8.7 ± 1.1% vs 5.3 ± 1.1%, P < 0.05) but did not differ significantly compared to CONTROL (7.5 ± 1.1%, P > 0.05). The piglet movement capacity in CONTROL was lower than CARBE group (1.36 vs 1.48, P < 0.05) but was not different compared to OXY group (1.40, P > 0.05). In conclusion, administration of carbetocin after the birth of the first piglet reduced the farrowing duration of sows, but increased the number of stillborn piglets and reduced the colostrum yield of sows.