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Gastric / Intestinal Torsion

(334) Torsion of the stomach or the small intestine is one of the major causes of death in adult breeding stock. The twist can involve the stomach the spleen, part of the liver or the intestine. The condition occurs more often in the dry sow, initiated by excitement or anticipation of feeding particularly in sows held in confinement. Agitation and jumping up at the bars when large volumes of feed and water are present in the stomach causes the rotation. Torsion of the intestines is also common because the complete digestive tract is suspended by the mesentery from a single point of the back. It is associated with abnormal carbohydrate fermentation in the small or large bowel, high levels of feed intake and the production of gas. This is seen commonly in sows which are fed liquid waste products such as milk, beer waste, fats and whey. If there is a problem change feeding practices and feed constituents. Large amounts of feed eaten during lactation will predispose. Early signs include a bloated abdomen but in most cases the sow is found dead. A post-mortem is necessary to confirm diagnosis.

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