A retrospective study of forensic cases of skin ulcerations in Danish pigs from 2000 to 2014

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Background: Ulcerations in pigs, as in other farm animals, are considered to be painful and therefore hampering the welfare. Farmers are obliged to provide an intervention to protect animals against unnecessary suffering and failure to do so is considered negligence. Moreover, animals with severe open wounds are considered unfit for transportation and so are pigs with ulcerations located on hernias. This paper presents a retrospective study of forensic case files concerning ulcerations in Danish pigs from 2000 to 2014. The aim of the study was to clarify the number of cases, the number of pigs, the anatomical localization and size of ulcerations, evaluate changes during years and the age of the lesions.

Results: A total of 209 case files concerning 283 pigs with 459 ulcerations were included. In 2004, 2005, 2007-2009 and 2011, sows with shoulder ulcerations were the most frequently submitted, while in 2014 pigs with ulcerations on umbilical outpouchings dominated. The change in pattern on body location most likely reflects specific national regulations enforced from 2003 to 2009. The ulcerations were estimated to be from 4 h to several months old and the median diameter of ulcerations was 4 cm.

Conclusions: Since 2004, the number of cases per year has declined. However, the number of affected pigs has remained almost constant from 2004 to 2014 (23.8 +/- 8.5 pigs per year). The change in pattern on body parts with ulcerations likely reflected specific national regulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalActa Veterinaria Scandinavica (Online)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016

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