Zoetis' Individual Sow Care programme addresses increasing sow mortality

Zoetis addresses sow mortality with new programme.
calendar icon 27 January 2020
clock icon 3 minute read
Eva Jablonski, technical veterinarian with Zoetis, speaks to The Pig Site's Sarah Mikesell at Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

Sow mortality is a concern and a struggle for a lot of producers and veterinarians,” said Eva Jablonski, technical veterinarian with Zoetis. “Individual Sow Care was really built to help focus on looking at every sow in every breed group every day. It's set up as a training programme, which is very similar to how we operate Individual Pig Care, with both classroom training as well as in-barn training.”

Sow mortality is a big concern, partly because in about 40% of sow death cases today, the cause of death is unknown.

“We do know that lameness and pelvic organ prolapses, what we refer to as POPs, are very common causes of death,” she said. “This approach with training really teaches caregivers how to look for some of the more subtle signs of swine diseases. We know that in the long run to promote sow health and provide better sow care, we need to focus and identify those early signs of disease, so we have better success and better treatment outcomes in the long run.”

Generally, the programme starts with a one-day or two half-day training courses. The classroom and in-barn training are both interactive, with lots of dialogue focused on helping caregivers classify what a normal sow versus an abnormal sow looks like. Eight specific areas are outlined to observe about each sow.

“We follow that up with some in-barn smaller groups, so there would be three to four caregivers with a Zoetis colleague, spending time in the gestation and lactation barns, looking at sows and learning to classify them and discussing some treatment opportunities that might exist,” concluded Dr Jablonski.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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