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Swine. Behavior Restraint Venipuncture. Video (squeaky). These piglets have approximately 6 months ahead of them before they go to market. (3 weeks nursing, 7 weeks in the nursery, and 16 weeks of grow-finish) . Ages of pigs are important. Neonates 0-3 weeks <4 kg (8.8 lbs)

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ages of pigs are important

These piglets have approximately 6 months ahead of them before they go to market. (3 weeks nursing, 7 weeks in the nursery, and 16 weeks of grow-finish)

Ages of pigs are important
  • Neonates 0-3 weeks
      • <4 kg (8.8 lbs)
  • Weanlings/nursery 3-10 weeks
      • 4-25 kg (8.8 – 55 lbs)
  • Growers/finisher 10-26 weeks
      • 25-120 kg (55 – 264 lbs)
  • Breeders/adults >6-8 months
      • >120 kg (> 264 lbs)
pig management
Pig management
  • Backyard herds
  • All in / all out
  • SPF (Specific pathogenic free)
  • Segregated early weaning
  • Depop / repop
violations in pig flow
Violations in Pig Flow
  • Drying off cull sows in grower/ finishing

(pen separately or remove immediately)

  • Putting poor doer nurseries back with younger animals (Nurseries must operate as AIAO)
  • Any movement of older sows through nurseries
violations in human flow
Violations in Human Flow
  • Nursery or farrowing not worked first
  • Walking through gestation or grow/finish to get through nurseries or farrowing
restraint chapter 20 p 439 lcvt
Restraint (Chapter 20 p. 439 LCVT)
  • Pigs are very vocal animals that express fear, panic, and stress by squealing and screaming.
  • Pigs are not athletic animals, but that doesn’t meant they are slow
  • Pigs may be aggressive; biting is their only real defense, they will often go after the object (person) of its anger.
  • Sows with litters are specially protective and should be approached with care.
  • Boars with tusk should be also be respected
animal human contact
Animal-Human Contact
  • When approaching a pig be sure it is made aware of your presence.
  • If pigs are startled they may cause injury to themselves or others in the pen.
  • The best way to make pigs aware of your presence is to use your voice.
  • Pigs quickly learn to recognize voices, especially if they are associated with food
moving pigs
Moving pigs
  • Pigs are best moved in a metal (box style) transport designed for use with large animals.
  • At times this is not possible and pigs must be walked to their destination.
  • When moving a pig always remember pigs will move away from walls toward openings
forms of swine restraint
Forms of swine restraint:
  • Hog snare
  • Snubbing rope
  • Casting rope
  • Leg hobbles
  • Piglet restraint
acclimation and socialization
Acclimation and Socialization
  • It should be remembered that pigs are social animals and have a rigid dominance hierarchy. If animals are group housed they will generally fight to establish dominance for the first 24-48 hours.
  • Dominance in pigs is almost directly related to size. The largest animals are dominant and smallest are submissive
Piglets pile up in the corner when driven. It is now quite easy to capture one by grabbing onto the hind legs that are presented.
  • Their legs are thin and somewhat easily fractured; catching them or tying them by the legs must be done carefully.
Demonstration of the capture of an adult pig with the hog snare.
  • The handler approaches from the side of the pig and carefully loops the snare over the upper jaw just in front of the cheek teeth or as far back in mouth as possible
After the snare is tightened, it is obvious that the pig resents this and will resist by pulling back against the snare.
  • This allows the handler to brace against the pig and hold it steady for examination or sample collection.

Effective in crated sows

v troughs
V troughs
  • This feeder pig is being restrained on its back in a V trough.
  • Both hind legs are held by an assistant and the forelegs are pulled back to allow access for blood collection.
v troughs1
V troughs
  • Procedures such as ear notching and bleeding can be done with the pig in this position.
  • Note that pigs will squeal the entire time they are restrained in this fashion, and all handlers should wear ear protection as demonstrated by the individual performing the blood collection.
basic physical examination
Basic physical examination
  • Physical examination of swine is procedurally similar to the other large animal species.
  • The following are normal values for adult swine at rest:

-Temperature 101.0º - 103.5º

(102.0º Average)

-Pulse 60-90 per minute

-Respiration 10-24 per minute (16 average)

basic p e
Basic P.E.
  • Body temperature may be taken rectally with a thermometer appropriate for the size of the animal.
  • Common pulse points are the auricular (ear) artery along with ear pinna and the coccygeal artery of the tail: the femoral artery may be available in recumbent animals.
  • Respiratory rate is assessed by observing and counting the chest or flank excursions; the lungs are best auscultated between ribs 6 and 11
pig medicine
Pig medicine
  • Blood collection
    • Jugular vein / anterior vena cava
    • Cephalic Vein
    • Orbital Sinus
    • Tail Vein
  • IV injection
    • Auricular vein
    • Rubberband

Common Bleeding Ports

Orbital venous sinus

Auricular (ear) vein

External Jugular Vein

Facial Vein

ear veins
Ear veins
  • The marginal ear veins are the only veins that are easily visible on pigs of any size.
  • Usually there are three prominent veins. The lateral or central vein is usually the largest of these.
  • The ear veins are branches of the caudal auricular vein and the superficial cervical vein. Their pattern, anastomoses and relative sizes vary from pig to pig.
Pigs cannot sweat and blood circulation through the ears is important for temperature regulation. In a warm environment the veins are more dilated and blood collection is facilitated.
  • When the vein has been punctured, the emerging blood can be collected directly by capillary action into appropriate tubes. This technique is suitable for measurement of haematocrit and haemoglobin levels, and for making blood smears.
i v injections
I.V. injections
  • It is possible to undertake intravenous injections using the ear veins even on newborn piglets.
  • The needle and ear are fixed between the operator's thumb and forefinger. When this has been done, the assistant can stop raising the vein and the injection can begin
  • Intravenous injections and solutions for fluid therapy are most often given in the lateral auricular (ear) vein
Infusion sets are also commercially available, consisting of a tube connected to a needle. These 'butterfly needles' must be fastened to the skin using adhesive tape or a louse.
  • Their great advantage is the flexibility of the tubing. These sets are available in a variety of sizes, such as 19 and 21 gauge
  • Use for larger volumes of solutions
This picture shows the central ear vein (the intermediate auricular vein) on a young sow.
  • The animal has been given azaperone as a sedative. This compound has the added advantage of causing peripheral vasodilatation, making the vein more readily accessible.
  • A venous catheter equipped with a stiletto (Braunule, 18 gauge) has been inserted into the vein.
  • Rubber band on the ear
the external jugular vein
The external jugular vein
  • Blood samples from adult pigs are most commonly taken from the external jugular vein.
  • The animal must be held using a snout rope and the neck must be stretched well upwards. This is best achieved if the pig stands on all four legs.
  • The rope is placed behind the canine teeth so that it does not slip off so easily or move rostrally towards the nasal cartilage
The correct point of venipuncture is illustrated in this picture.
  • The needle should be directed caudo-dorsally, in this case perpendicular to the skin.
  • The correct puncture site is in the deepest point of the jugular groove formed between the medial sternocephalic and lateral brachiocephalic muscles
A vacuum tube has been connected, and the needle inserted in its full length. This is important, since these needles are really slightly too short for large sows.
  • It is vital that the needle holder is held firmly if the operator wishes to change vacuum tubes
cranial vena cava
Cranial vena cava
  • Lies in the thoracic inlet between the first pair of ribs and gives rise to both right and left jugular veins.
  • The right side of the animal is always used to access the cranial vena cava to avoid damage to the phrenic nerve.

Venipuncture of the cranial vena cava in a small pig restrained in dorsal recumbency

cranial vena cava1
Cranial Vena Cava
  • Several structures may be accidentally be encountered during this procedure . If the needle hits a rib, pull backward slightly and try different angle .

Collecting blood from the cranial vena cava in a standing pig. The needle is inserted at the caudal extent of the right jugular furrow, lateral to the manubrium


Bleeding sows

  • Large animals are restrained standing usually with long snare, the head should be raised slightly
Pigs weighing between 20 and 50 kg can either be held on their backs in a 'trough' or immobilized with a snout rope
orbital sinus medial canthus of the eye
Orbital Sinus (Medial Canthus of the Eye)

Collection of blood from the medial canthus of the eye

Venipuncture of the left orbital sinus. Note the firm manual restraint of the head.

cephalic vein
Cephalic vein
  • The cephalic vein can be used for blood collection in newborn piglets and weanling animals.
  • It will only be possible to withdraw small amounts of blood from animals weighing less than 10-15 kg.
  • When they weigh 20-50 kg, it is possible, with some training, to withdraw blood nearly as quickly as with the other methods described
milk vein
Milk vein
  • The milk vein (the subcutanous abdominal vein) is easily visible lateral to the teats on smaller pigs.
  • For blood sampling a vacuum tube and a 20 gauge needle is used. The needle is inserted where the vein is most visible.
the tail vein
The tail vein
  • The medial caudal vein lies in a groove under the tail, next to the artery.
  • The operator raises the tail with one hand and punctures the vein with the other.
  • Vacuum tubes and 20 gauge needles are used.
  • The puncture site is at the first freely movable tail joint. This is around the fifth tail vertebra.
intramuscular injection im
Intramuscular Injection IM
  • The prime cuts of pork come from the hams, loins, and shoulder areas.
  • Therefore intramuscular injections are preferably given in the dorsal neck muscle behind the ears

Necropsy – Why?

  • To improve the herd health
  • To contribute to the herd health program
  • To identify causes of illness or death so that
    • Effective treatments can be applied
    • Preventative measures can be implemented

Necropsy – What to look for

  • Skin condition
  • Swollen joints
  • Wounds or abscesses
  • Intestinal condition (fluid-filled, bloody, gas, etc)
  • Lung condition (hemorrhage, non-functional tissues, edema, etc.)
  • Liver condition (look for milk spots; indication of a parasitic infection)
  • Condition of other organs (kidneys, spleen, heart)
  • Snout condition (condition of the turbinates)

Necropsy -- Tools

  • Scalpel
  • Probes (spatula or equivalent)
  • Saw (hack saw or equivalent)
  • Water
  • Mechanism to dispose of parts (plastic bags)
  • http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/swine/7080.html
  • http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an051