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A cross-sectional study of the prevalence and associated risk factors for bursitis in weaner, grower and finisher pigs from 93 commercial farms in England

Gillman, C.E., KilBride, A.L., Ossent, P., Green, L.E.
Preventive veterinary medicine 2008 v.83 no.3-4 pp. 308-322
cross-sectional studies, disease prevalence, risk factors, bursitis, feeder pigs, finishing, swine diseases, commercial farms, disease diagnosis, disease severity, litter (bedding), England
A cross-sectional study of 93 farms in England was carried out to estimate the prevalence and associated risk factors for bursitis. A total of 6250 pigs aged 6-22 weeks were examined for presence and severity of bursitis. Details of pen construction, pen quality and farm management were recorded including floor type, presence of bedding, condition of the floor and floor materials. The prevalence of bursitis was 41.2% and increased with each week of age (OR 1.1). Two-level logistic regression models were developed with the outcome as the proportion of pigs affected with bursitis in a pen. Pigs kept on soil floors with straw bedding were used as the reference level. In comparison with these soil floors, bursitis increased on concrete floors where the bedding was deep throughout (OR 4.6), deep in part (OR 3.7), and sparse throughout (OR 9.0), part slatted floors (OR 8.0), and fully slatted floors (OR 18.8). Slip or skid marks in the dunging area (OR 1.5), pigs observed slipping during the examination of the pen (OR 1.3) and wet floors (OR 3.6) were also associated with an increased risk of bursitis. The results indicate that bursitis is a common condition of growing pigs and that the associated risk factors for bursitis were a lack of bedding in the lying area, presence of voids and pen conditions which increased the likelihood of injury.