Transient effects of weaning on the health of newly weaning piglets

https://doi.org/10.17221/8731-CJASCitation:Tao X., Xu Z., Men X. (2016): Transient effects of weaning on the health of newly weaning piglets. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 61: 82-90.
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The transient effects of weaning on the health of newly weaning piglets were investigated. In this study, 24 piglets were randomly assigned to weaning and suckling (control) groups. Weaning piglets were sacrificed on days 1, 4, and 7 post-weaning; suckling piglets were slaughtered at the corresponding time points. Blood samples and internal organs were collected for the determination of hematological traits, relative organ weights, and serum biochemical, antioxidant, enzyme, and immune indexes. The results revealed that piglets’ growth performance significantly decreased on days 4 and 7 post-weaning. White blood cell and lymphocyte counts changed on days 1 and 4 post-weaning. On day 4, serum glucose levels decreased and urea nitrogen levels increased. Thymus gland weight significantly decreased on day 7, while adrenal gland weight significantly increased on days 4 and 7. Malondialdehyde level increased on day 4 post-weaning and superoxide dismutase, catalase, and alkaline phosphatase activities decreased on days 4 and 7 post-weaning. Serum IgA concentrations decreased from day 1 to day 4 post-weaning. The results showed that the adverse effects of weaning on the serum biochemical indexes gradually weakened on day 4 post-weaning. However, during the first week post-weaning, there were damaging effects on the endocrine, antioxidant, intestinal, and immune systems of piglets.  
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