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Veterinaria México

Print version ISSN 0301-5092


REIS DE SOUZA, Tércia Cesária; MARISCAL LANDIN, Gerardo  and  ESCOBAR GARCIA, Konisgmar. Some physiological and nutritional factors affecting the incidence of post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. Vet. Méx [online]. 2010, vol.41, n.4, pp.275-288. ISSN 0301-5092.

Weaning causes disturbances in the digestive function and intestinal health of piglets and is almost always associated with a severe growth depression and diarrhea. For this reason antibiotics in sub-therapeutic doses are often added to feed to prevent diarrhea and as growth promoters. However, due to the ban of antibiotics in feedstuffs in different parts of the world, an increase in post-weaning diarrhea in piglets has been observed. Several nutritional strategies have been used as control measures. This work reviews some aspects of nutrition, digestive physiology, intestinal microflora in weaned piglets and their relationship with post-weaning diarrhea. It is concluded that the use of probiotics and prebiotics in pig starter diets may be an alternative to replace antibiotics in post-weaning diarrhea control. Fed piglets after weaning with a low crude protein diet (17%) instead to high crude protein diets (23% or more), may also be an efficient strategy to diarrhea control through the reduction in the urea nitrogen level in plasma and the production of microbial toxic metabolites such as ammonia, which indicates a reduction in the fermentation of proteins and contributes to maintain intestinal health.

Keywords : Piglets; Weaning; Crude protein level; Diarrhea.

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