Toxins Attack Piglets During Post-Weaning Dip26 August 2016
Many articles are written about the stressful period piglets experience right after weaning, though too often on-farm discussions focus on issues such as diarrhea or oedema that occur anywhere from 1 week to 1 month post-weaning. Antibiotics and/or high levels of zinc oxide are often applied in these cases. However, public concern and stricter rules regarding the former have propelled efforts to curtail antibiotic use in farm animals worldwide.
It is well known that the immediate consequence of weaning is a drastic reduction in feed intake and a loss of body weight in the first few days.
Some piglets will not even eat during the first 48 hours. This lack of nutrient intake has a dramatic impact on the anatomy, functions and microorganisms of the gastrointestinal tract, impairing efficient digestive processes and barrier functions.
Many researchers have shown that this reduced nutrient intake leads to villi atrophy (decrease of villus height up to 30%), negative effects on tight junctions and low-er barrier function of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT).