Understanding sow lactation problems

January 24, 2020 | by admin

Excerpt from Better Pork magazine article authored by Dr. Hollyn Maloney of Prairie Swine Health Services:

Producers must address postpartum dysgalactia syndrome to ensure the growth and survival of piglets

To ensure that your piglets receive enough colostrum and meet their nutritional needs, your sows must be milking properly.

Postpartum dysgalactia syndrome (PDS) is the inadequate production of colostrum and milk in the first few days post-farrowing. This syndrome causes piglet starvation and increased pre-weaning mortality. PDS can result from an infectious process, such as mastitis, or a feed or management issue that causes udder edema or hormonal imbalances.


Mastitis, which is inflammation of the mammary glands, is a common cause of PDS. A higher risk of mastitis exists in glands that are injured, often by piglets' teeth while nursing, or that are not milked out properly, often because the teat is inaccessible to piglets due to abnormal positioning.

Most commonly, coliform bacteria, such as E. coli, that are foiund in feces causes mastitis. These bacteria can enter the mammary gland through a cut in the skin if the udder is contaminated with manure.

Other bacteria that can be involved in causing mastitis are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, although these bacteria are less common.

Click here to view the full article.

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