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Type of publication: Doctoral Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2018

Authors: Krauss, Ines

Title: Untersuchungen zur Prävalenz von Magenulzera bei Mastschweinen in einem Betrieb in Niederösterreich mit konventioneller Haltung.

Other title: Prevalence assessments of gastric ulcers in fattening pigs on a conventional farm in lower Austria

Source: Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 32.


Hennig-Pauka Isabel

Schmidt Peter

Vetmed Research Units:
University Clinic for Swine

Oesophagogastric ulceration (OGU) in finishing pigs decrease performance and can cause sudden death. Several predisposing factors have been identified up to now, but disease pathogenesis has not completely been elucidated yet. Diet structure and composition have a major impact onto gastric health and fine-grinded feed is considered to be the most important predisposing factor for the development of gastric lesions in fattening pigs. In case of stomach ulceration a perforation of blood vessels can cause chronic bleeding. Inner body surfaces can become contaminated by ingesta, resulting in the development of organ changes and contamination of pork. The aims of the present study were to compare results of macroscopic and histological examination of stomachs, to assess the method of macroscopic examination at slaughter for practical feasibility and to compare gastric health in pigs provided with straw and more space with pigs kept with less space and without straw in a conventional fattening unit. Animals were assigned either to pens provided with long straw in racks and at least 1 m² pen space per pig (SG) or to control pens (CG; no straw, at least 0.7 m²/pig). After slaughter a total of 233 (SG 113, CG 120) stomachs’ pars oesophagea (PO) were examined macroscopically and histologically and classified according to a 0 (normal) to 3 (OGU) scoring system. Median group prevalence of oesophagogastric ulceration by macroscopic examination were 5 % in the CG (range 0-40 %) and 18 % in the SG (range 0-50 %), respectively. This difference between the two treatment groups was not significant. Sensitivity and specificity of macroscopic findings for scores > 0 were 79 % and 83 %, respectively, and for score 3 53 % and 98 %, respectively. Overall, positive correlations were found between average gastric health scores or the proportion of animals with OGU and the proportion of animals with ear tip lesions. No beneficial effect of straw and higher space allowance on the development of OGU was observed. It is assumed, that feeding fine-grinded diet in this herd predisposes for oesophagogastric ulceration which might have been triggered additionally by mechanical irritation of straw stems. The connection between gastric ulcers and ear tip lesions implies the influence of further stressors, which might have been already present during the rearing period.

Publication(s) resulting from University thesis:

Krauss, I; Schwarz, L; Schodl, K; Knecht, C; Brunthaler, R; Metzler-Zebeli, B; Leeb, C; Hennig-Pauka, I (2018): Assessing Gastric Ulceration In Fattening Pigs Housed Without Or With Straw And Additional Space - A Macroscopic And Microscopic Study On A Conventional Austrian Farm. Slov Vet Res. 2018; 55(2): 91-100.
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