Porcine ear necrosis is associated with social behaviours in weaned piglets - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles BMC Veterinary Research Year : 2024

Porcine ear necrosis is associated with social behaviours in weaned piglets


Background: Porcine ear necrosis (PEN) is a worldwide health issue and its aetiology is still unclear. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and the severity of PEN in a commercial farm, associated with pig behaviour and health biomarkers measures. On two consecutive batches, PEN prevalence was determined at the pen level. PEN scores, blood haptoglobin concentration and oxidative status were measured on two pigs per pen ( n = 48 pens) 9, 30 and 50 days (D) after arrival to the post-weaning unit. Social nosing, oral manipulation and aggression of pen mates and exploration of enrichment materials were observed on two to three pigs per pen twice a week from D9 to D50. Results: At the pen level, the higher the time spent nosing pen mates, the lower the percentage of pigs affected by PEN during both the early and the late post-weaning periods ( P < 0.002) and, in the opposite, the higher the time spent orally manipulating pen mates during the late post-weaning period, the higher the percentage of affected pigs ( P = 0.03). At the pig level, the higher the increase in hydroperoxides and haptoglobin during the early post-weaning period, the higher the PEN scores on D30 ( P < 0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that a high incidence of social nosing, which can be an indicator of good social cohesion in a group, was significantly associated with less frequent lesions of PEN. In opposite, high incidence of oral manipulation of pen mates may increase the percentage of PEN-affected pigs. According to these observations, PEN is a multifactorial condition which may have social causes among others.
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Dates and versions

hal-04549544 , version 1 (17-04-2024)




Gwenaël Boulbria, Théo Nicolazo, Charlotte Teixeira-Costa, Caroline Clouard, Arnaud Lebret, et al.. Porcine ear necrosis is associated with social behaviours in weaned piglets. BMC Veterinary Research, 2024, 20 (1), pp.118. ⟨10.1186/s12917-024-03974-4⟩. ⟨hal-04549544⟩


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