|Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll|
Submitted to: Academy Veterinary Consultants
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A review of research activities over the past several years was presented covering three different areas: 1) the natural birth process on the development of the stress axis in baby pigs; 2) the process of natural birth on the somatotrophic axis; and 3) possibilities of intervening with dexamethasone treatment. Data from several research trials which evaluated the effect of glucocorticoids on postnatal development in the pig were presented. Results demonstrate that pigs born by c-section do not have the same postnatal development of the stress and growth axes as natural birth pigs. Pigs born by c-section are more responsive to stress later in life, and do not achieve their growth potential. On the other hand, further research has demonstrated that supplemental glucocorticoids given at birth can enhance postnatal growth without affecting the overall health and well-being of the pig. This research highlights the importance associated with the stress and trauma of birth as it relates to postnatal growth and well-being. It also demonstrates that a perinatal window of opportunity exists at which postnatal development can be altered to enhance growth and performance without jeopardizing the well-being of the pig. This information will be of interest to swine producers, veterinarians, as well as scientists and practitioners working in the area of early neonatal development in animals or humans.