Farrowing Management (Part 3)


The last issue we were talked about what to do when sows are farrowing problems. This issue we will talk about “MMA (Mastitis-inflammation of mammary glands, Metritis-inflammation of the uterus and Agalactia-lack of milk flow)”. The death losses from affected sows are low, but the losses in piglets are high (15-30%) due to starvation, hypoglycemia and overlying by sows. MMA is often followed by prolonged farrowing process.

MMA (Mastitis – Metritis – Agalactia)

There are 3 groups of MMA in sows:

– Coliform mastitis.

– Staphylococcal and Streptococcal mastitis.

– Management induced mastitis.

• Coliform mastitis

– E.coli, Klebsiella spp., Proteus spp., Pseudomonas spp.

– Bacteria release endotoxin results in reduce milk production.

– Sows will get sick and piglets have diarrhea.

– Always occur in PRRS unstable herd.

– Contaminate sources are sow feces, dirty floor, contaminated feed and water.

– Dark blue surrounding the affected udder, severe udder edema and udder skin congestion.

– Caudal udders are more affected than cranial udders.

– Hematological findings are decrease hemoglobin concentration, decrease in serum calcium, magnesium and glucose and increase in phosphorus concentration.


Picture1-2 Severe udder edema and skin congestion.

• Staphylococcal and Streptococcal mastitis

– Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp.

– Less acute & severe than coliform mastitis.

– Do not make sows ill.

– 1 or 2 mammary glands will be affected (swollen, hard, discolored).

– Contaminate source is from her own skin.

– Shower & disinfectant gestating sows before move to farrowing house help to reduce mastitis causes by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria.

• Management induced mastitis

– Vitamin E and Selenium deficiency.

– Vitamin B12 deficiency.

– Overfeeding gestating sow.

– Low fiber in gestation and lactation feed cause constipation.

– Feeding exceed protein the sow.

– Ca:P imbalance in gestation and lactation feed.

– Chronic heat stress before farrowing.

– Short acclimation period before farrowing.


Picture3: Agalactia symptom.

Management Control and Prevention

– Clean, disinfect and dry farrowing crate at least 5 days before move in pre-farrowing sows.

– Disinfectant and move pre-farrowing sows to farrowing house 5-7 days before due date.

– Feed pre-farrowing sows with pre-farrowing diet (low energy, high fiber, low Ca and adding antibiotics).

Use gestation feed 2 kg+rice bran 1 kg+antibiotics (total 3 kg/day)

– Feed them until 3 days post-farrowed then change to lactation feed.

– Add clean and fresh water into dry feed help to improve feed intake and reduce constipation.

– Improve ventilation and temperature in farrowing houses.

Preventive medication program for sows


It is very important that mastitis is diagnosed early and that prompt treatment is given. I would strongly recommend to implementing preventive medicine program as above to minimize MMA symptoms in your farm. See you again in the next issue. Thank you.

Author: Dr. Paiboon Sungnak, D.V.M.
InterCons 3P Co., Ltd.

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