Altrenogest Treatment Associated with a Farrowing Induction Protocol to Avoid Early Parturition in Sows

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ContentsThis study investigated the effect of altrenogest treatment on the farrowing development of sows, and birth weight (BW) and piglet survival until the third day of life. Three control groups were used: (i) sows that farrowed spontaneously before 114 day of gestation (CONT <114); (ii) sows that spontaneously farrowed at ≥114 day of gestation (CONT ≥114); (iii) sows that farrowed at ≥114 day with cloprostenol treatment (CONTCLOPR). Other sows were treated with altrenogest (Regumate®) for 3 days (days 111, 112 and 113 of gestation): one group gave birth spontaneously (ALT) and the other group received altrenogest until day 113 and cloprostenol on day 114 (ALTCLOPR). There were no differences (p > 0.05) in farrowing duration, BW, coefficient of variation (CV) of BW, stillborn piglets, mummified foetuses, percentage of light piglets and survival until Day 3 between sows with and without cloprostenol treatment, in both control (CONT ≥114 vs CONTCLOPR) and altrenogest-treated sows (ALT vs ALTCLOPR). Further comparisons were performed taking into account three groups: sows with early delivery (CONT <114 – farrowing before 114 days of gestation; n = 56), sows with longer gestation (CONT ≥114 – with and without cloprostenol treatment sows; n = 103) and ALT sows (with and without cloprostenol treatment; n = 105). Gestation length of CONT ≥114 and ALT sows was similar (p > 0.05), but higher than in CONT <114 sows. There were no differences (p > 0.05) between groups in farrowing duration, CV of BW, and percentages of stillborn piglets and mummified foetuses. Sows of CONT <114 group had a larger litter size and a lower BW than sows of the other two groups (p < 0.05). Sows of CONT <114 group had a higher percentage of lighter piglets and a lower piglet survival rate (p < 0.05) than ALT sows. In conclusion, altrenogest treatment proved to be an efficient method to avoid early parturition in 3–5 parity sows resulting in heavier piglets at birth.

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