The study aimed to investigate the possible anti-inflammatory activity of larch sawdust as feed supplement in lactating sows’ diet and its possible effect on the prevalence of Postpartum Dysgalactia Syndrome under field conditions. In a Greek farrow-to-finish pig farm, fifteen sows were randomly and equally allocated to a negative control group (NC group), a positive control group (PC group), and a treatment group (LT group). The animals of the first two groups received 99% basic diet and 1% corn starch, while LT group animals received 99% basic diet and 1% larch sawdust. The whole trial period lasted 35 days (7 days prior to farrow – day of weaning). At parturition day, animals of the PC group received 2 ml of an anti-inflammatory drug intramuscularly (meloxicam, Metacam®, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica), while the animals of both other groups, received 2 ml of normal saline. Results showed insignificant differences among experimental groups for parameters such as post-partum rectal temperature and piglets performance. On the contrary, a significant increase of mean milk lactation index was observed in LT and PC groups on the 4th day of lactation period, when compared with NC group (p=0.014). Additionally, mean IL-6 concentrations in blood in the LT group showed a tendency for reduction when compared with those found in NC, and insignificant difference (p>0.05) when compared with those observed in PC group 24 hours postpartum. Moreover, the respective TNFα mean level in the LT group at 24 and 72 hours after parturition was similar to that found in PC group, respectively) and significantly lower than that determined in the NC group (p=0.003, p=0.024. The results suggest a possible anti-inflammatory effect of larch sawdust in sows.
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