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Evaluation of Welfare and Weight Gain in Piglets Castrated Using Anesthetic Drugs

Pazzini J. M., Serafim E. L., Huppes R. R., Mello S. D. P., De Nardi A. B., Almeida H. M. D. S., Mechler M. L. L. and Oliveira L. G..

Abstract
The objective was to evaluate the behavior and welfare of piglets castrated with and without anesthetics. Ten-day old piglets were used to identify behavioral, physiological and weaning weight gain changes after castration. The experiment was conducted at the College Dr. Francisco Maeda, located at Ituverava-SP between October 2010 and March 2011. Forty five ten-day old piglets were divided into three groups of fifteen animals, one group of animals (G1) were castrated with the use of injectable intratesticular anesthetic, the second group (G2) were castrated using topical anesthetic spray and the third group (G3) were castrated without the use of anesthetics. Behavioral variables were evaluated (lying, walking, nursing and isolated) after the surgical procedure to compare the behavior of animals castrated with the use and the absence of the anesthetic. Husbandry variables were evaluated from the 10th day to 21st day of age, when the animals were weighed at birth and at 21st days. The average weight gain was calculated to evaluate the performance of piglets. The physiological variables collected were heart rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature. Data collected after castration was used to check if there were any changes caused by surgical procedure. Behavioral, physiological and animal husbandry means were statistically significant for the use and absence of anesthetic drugs during castration procedure. In conclusion the use of anesthesia during castration maintains the welfare and better weight gain.

Key words: Castration, injectable anesthetic, spray anesthetic, pig.



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