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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 percent of time finishing pigs spent eating before and after receiving treatment (p < 0.05): none (NO), Sham (SHAM), intramuscular (IM) injection, or subcutaneous (SQ) injection. N = 40 pig observations. * Within treatment, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
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animals-06-00052-f002: Least squares means for percent of time finishing pigs spent eating before and after receiving treatment (p < 0.05): none (NO), Sham (SHAM), intramuscular (IM) injection, or subcutaneous (SQ) injection. N = 40 pig observations. * Within treatment, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).

Mentions: Drinking behaviors were not different among treatment groups (p = 0.62). There was a treatment by period effect for feeding (p = 0.03; Figure 2). Feeding behavior in the before period was higher than in the after period for SQ pigs (p = 0.02). NO pigs tended to eat less in the before period than in the after period. SHAM and IM pigs showed no differences in eating behaviors in the before and after periods. When comparing pigs across treatments in the before period, SQ pigs tended to eat more than IM pigs, but there were no differences between the SQ pigs and the other treatment groups. When comparing treatment groups in the after period, NO pigs had a higher percentage of feeding behaviors compared to SHAM (p = 0.02) and SQ pigs (p = 0.001), but were not different than IM pigs (p = 0.12). Furthermore, cortisol levels were not different among treatment groups (p > 0.05; Table 2).


Comparison of Intramuscular or Subcutaneous Injections vs. Castration in Pigs — Impacts on Behavior and Welfare
Least squares means for percent of time finishing pigs spent eating before and after receiving treatment (p < 0.05): none (NO), Sham (SHAM), intramuscular (IM) injection, or subcutaneous (SQ) injection. N = 40 pig observations. * Within treatment, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-06-00052-f002: Least squares means for percent of time finishing pigs spent eating before and after receiving treatment (p < 0.05): none (NO), Sham (SHAM), intramuscular (IM) injection, or subcutaneous (SQ) injection. N = 40 pig observations. * Within treatment, indicates a significant difference in means (p < 0.05).
Mentions: Drinking behaviors were not different among treatment groups (p = 0.62). There was a treatment by period effect for feeding (p = 0.03; Figure 2). Feeding behavior in the before period was higher than in the after period for SQ pigs (p = 0.02). NO pigs tended to eat less in the before period than in the after period. SHAM and IM pigs showed no differences in eating behaviors in the before and after periods. When comparing pigs across treatments in the before period, SQ pigs tended to eat more than IM pigs, but there were no differences between the SQ pigs and the other treatment groups. When comparing treatment groups in the after period, NO pigs had a higher percentage of feeding behaviors compared to SHAM (p = 0.02) and SQ pigs (p = 0.001), but were not different than IM pigs (p = 0.12). Furthermore, cortisol levels were not different among treatment groups (p > 0.05; Table 2).

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.