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Comparison of Intramuscular or Subcutaneous Injections vs. Castration in Pigs — Impacts on Behavior and Welfare

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Physical castration (PC) of piglets is a painful and stressful procedure and alternatives are being sought to improve animal well-being, such as immunological castration (IC). However, IC requires injections which may also cause pain and stress during handling. In this study, piglets and finishing pigs were placed in the following treatment groups: no handling or treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), intramuscular injection (IM), subcutaneous injection (SQ), or PC on piglets only. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social behavior and feeding behavior, and signs of pain were recorded. Physical castration caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than changes associated with handling associated with IM or SQ injections. Overall, injections did not cause a change in weaning pig behaviors. Finishing pigs given SQ injections showed a lower number of feeding behaviors post treatment but other changes were not observed in the other treatment groups.

Abstract: Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and distress of subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections compared to PC in piglets, and to compare SQ or IM injections in finishing pigs. After farrowing, 3 to 5 d old male piglets were randomly assigned to (control) no handling treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), IM, SQ, or PC. Finishing pigs were assigned to NO, SHAM, IM, or SQ. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social, feeding behaviors, and signs of pain were recorded. Finishing pigs treated with SQ injections had higher feeding behaviors pre-treatment than they did post-treatment. Overall, physical castrations caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than the other treatment groups. SQ and IM injections did not cause either significant behavioral or physiological alterations in piglets. SQ injections caused a decrease in finishing pig feed behaviors post treatment (p = 0.02) and SHAM treated finishing pigs spent significantly more time lying than the other treatment groups. In general IM and SQ injections did not cause any other significant changes in behavior or physiology.

No MeSH data available.


Least squares means for pain-like behaviors in piglets (p = 0.07): not physically castrated (NOPC) and physically castrated (YESPC). N = 50 piglet observations. * Between treatments, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
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animals-06-00052-f001: Least squares means for pain-like behaviors in piglets (p = 0.07): not physically castrated (NOPC) and physically castrated (YESPC). N = 50 piglet observations. * Between treatments, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).

Mentions: Physically castrated pigs tended to exhibit more pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation than the other treatment groups (Figure 1). Pain-like behaviors in PC pigs were higher during the 15 min period after castration compared to all other time periods (p = 0.01). Pain-like behaviors remained similar from 45 min to 60 min. No injection site skin reactions were observed with IM or SQ injections.


Comparison of Intramuscular or Subcutaneous Injections vs. Castration in Pigs — Impacts on Behavior and Welfare
Least squares means for pain-like behaviors in piglets (p = 0.07): not physically castrated (NOPC) and physically castrated (YESPC). N = 50 piglet observations. * Between treatments, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5035947&req=5

animals-06-00052-f001: Least squares means for pain-like behaviors in piglets (p = 0.07): not physically castrated (NOPC) and physically castrated (YESPC). N = 50 piglet observations. * Between treatments, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
Mentions: Physically castrated pigs tended to exhibit more pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation than the other treatment groups (Figure 1). Pain-like behaviors in PC pigs were higher during the 15 min period after castration compared to all other time periods (p = 0.01). Pain-like behaviors remained similar from 45 min to 60 min. No injection site skin reactions were observed with IM or SQ injections.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Physical castration (PC) of piglets is a painful and stressful procedure and alternatives are being sought to improve animal well-being, such as immunological castration (IC). However, IC requires injections which may also cause pain and stress during handling. In this study, piglets and finishing pigs were placed in the following treatment groups: no handling or treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), intramuscular injection (IM), subcutaneous injection (SQ), or PC on piglets only. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social behavior and feeding behavior, and signs of pain were recorded. Physical castration caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than changes associated with handling associated with IM or SQ injections. Overall, injections did not cause a change in weaning pig behaviors. Finishing pigs given SQ injections showed a lower number of feeding behaviors post treatment but other changes were not observed in the other treatment groups.

Abstract: Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and distress of subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections compared to PC in piglets, and to compare SQ or IM injections in finishing pigs. After farrowing, 3 to 5 d old male piglets were randomly assigned to (control) no handling treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), IM, SQ, or PC. Finishing pigs were assigned to NO, SHAM, IM, or SQ. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social, feeding behaviors, and signs of pain were recorded. Finishing pigs treated with SQ injections had higher feeding behaviors pre-treatment than they did post-treatment. Overall, physical castrations caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than the other treatment groups. SQ and IM injections did not cause either significant behavioral or physiological alterations in piglets. SQ injections caused a decrease in finishing pig feed behaviors post treatment (p = 0.02) and SHAM treated finishing pigs spent significantly more time lying than the other treatment groups. In general IM and SQ injections did not cause any other significant changes in behavior or physiology.

No MeSH data available.