Osteochondrosis prevalence and severity at 12 and 24 weeks of age in commercial pigs with and without organic-complexed trace mineral supplementation

F. Tóth, J. L. Torrison, L. Harper, D. Bussieres, M. E. Wilson, T. D. Crenshaw, C. S. Carlson

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Maternal and progeny diets supplemented with 2 sources of trace mineral (TM) were evaluated for effects on the size and severity of osteochondrosis (OC) lesions in progeny produced by 64 Landrace × Large White sows. At breeding, sows were randomly assigned to maternal diets (gestation and lactation) consisting 1 of 2 TM treatments. One treatment consisted of inorganic TM (ITM) with ZnO, MnSO4, and CuSO4 at concentrations to provide 150, 50, and 16.5 mg/kg diet of Zn, Mn, and Cu, respectively. The other treatment consisted of the same ITM concentrations plus an additional 50, 20, and 10 mg/kg diet of Zn, Mn, and Cu, respectively, supplied by a blend of AA-complexed TM (CTM) using Availa Sow. Within maternal dietary treatment groups, selected progeny (n = 280) were fed either ITM- or CTM-supplemented diets. The humerus and femur (1 each) from progeny euthanized at 12 (n = 80) or 24 wk (n = 200) were collected for microscopic (12 wk) or gross (24 wk) assessment of OC lesions. Microscopic OC lesions were present in all pigs at 12 wk. Dietary treatments had limited effects on OC prevalence or severity. A maternal × progeny diet interaction (P = 0.044) revealed femoral OC latens lesions that were approximately twice the size in progeny fed CTM that were produced by sows fed CTM compared with those found in pigs in the other 3 dietary treatment groups. At 24 wk, the sum of gross OC scores at predilection sites of the thoracic (elbow joint) and pelvic (stifle and hock joints) limbs remained similar among treatments, despite greater (P = 0.004) gross OC scores of the medial femoral condyle in progeny from sows fed CTM diets than in progeny from sows fed ITM diets, regardless of progeny diet. Progeny produced by sows fed CTM vs. ITM had increased ADG (0.71 vs. 0.68 ± 0.01 kg/d), regardless of the diet fed to progeny during the growth phases. Covariant analysis using ADG did not alter inferences about maternal or progeny diet effects on OC responses. Although 100% of progeny at 12 wk had histologically apparent OC lesions, only 3 of the 200 pigs examined at 24 wk had gross lesions of sufficient severity to potentially result in clinically apparent disease. Therefore, although some results imply that maternal and progeny CTM diets increased the size (12 wk) and severity (24 wk) of OC in 1 site (the femur), on the whole animal level, no evidence of lameness was noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3817-3825
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Histomorphometry
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Porcine
  • Trace minerals


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