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Publication type: Diploma Thesis

Year: 2010

Author(s): Hochgerner, Agnes

Title: Retrospektive Analyse der Auswirkungen einer CO2-Narkose auf die Herzfunktion bei Saugferkeln mittels Elektrokardiogramm im Rahmen der Kastration.

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 34.


Langhoff Rebecca
Ritzmann Mathias

Moens Yves
Ritzmann Mathias

Vetmed Research Units:
University Clinic for Swine

Approximately 100 Million male piglets are castrated in the European Union every year (JÄGGIN et al., 2006; HEINRITZI et al., 2008). Within the first seven days of life castration is permitted without anaesthesia and normally done by the farmer (Richtlinie 2008/120/EG). Castration is carried through to prevent boar taint that may cause an unpleasant change in taste and odour of the meat and meat products of entire males (BINDER et al., 2004). Castration without anaesthesia is criticized by various stakeholders all over Europe. Several options are discussed to reduce pain due to castration or to stop castrating at all (BORRELL et al., 2008). The Netherlands decided to use CO2 to anaesthetize piglets for castration. CO2-anaesthesia is closely related to a drop of the pHvalue in the cerebrospinal fluid (EISELE et al., 1967). Various studies show pros and cons of the use of CO2 as an anaesthetic gas (LAUER et al., 1994; KOHLER et al., 1998; GERRITZEN et al., 2008; MÜHLBAUER et al., 2009). Among others GERRITZEN et al. (2008) describe a massive drop of the heart rate of pigs, when inhaling CO2 in concentrations above 50%. The physiological heart rate of piglets is about 200 beats per minute in the first week of life (BAUMGARTNER et al., 2005a). Using an ECG, the function of the heart, including the heart rate can be observed (ENGELHARDT et al., 2004). The aim of this study is to evaluate the function of the heart of piglets being castrated or only restraint with and without CO2-anaesthesia using an ECG.

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