Engormix/Pig Industry/Technical articles

Impact of gastric ulcers

Published on: 8/3/2021
Author/s : APC, Inc.
One of the most common issues in modern pig production systems worldwide is the presence of gastric ulcers. Mortality as high as 1% can be attributed to gastric ulcers in grow-finish pigs and sows, although ulcers impact pigs at every stage of production. (Can Vet J. et al., 2002)
How can producers, feed specialists and veterinarians help pigs experiencing gastric ulcers? The answer may include feeding plasma derived functional proteins to light weight and at-risk pigs either by mixing it into the drinking water or top-dressing on feed.
There has been a consensus in the animal science community that the cause of ulcers in pigs is multifactorial in nature. Pigs typically develop ulcers during high stress times in their lives, such as prolonged transportation, extreme weather and adjusting to new living arrangements. These stressors can cause off feed events. Excess stomach acid can quickly damage the esophageal region of the stomach, causing ulcers to develop. The cascading effect includes pain and reduced feed intake. In severe cases, it can lead to erosion of the stomach lining which may result in bleeding or even sudden death. This creates a vicious cycle that won’t correct itself without intervention.
Impact of gastric ulcers - Image 1
As the fourth highest cause of mortality in pigs, gastric ulcers are a costly problem for the swine industry in pigs lost before market. Currently, there are no available treatment options that can be prescribed by veterinarians to heal ulcers. However, producers and veterinarians have found success using plasma derived functional proteins. A large commercial integrator study shows using plasma derived functional proteins improves ulcer recovery rates in pigs by more than 70% with an average return on investment of 8:1.
Impact of gastric ulcers - Image 2
“Boars with ulceration symptoms have returned to the semen collection process in as little as 15 days after being fed 30g per day of AP 920.” -APC Client in Brazil, personal communication, 2020
Impact of gastric ulcers - Image 3
Research and commercial trial results demonstrate using plasma derived functional proteins can be an effective tool in helping speed recovery from ulcers (Crenshaw et al., 2003).
Plasma is comprised of a complex mixture of functional proteins (we call them FPs for short) that include transferrin, lysozymes, growth factors, cytokines, immunoglobulins and many other components that have a profound, positive impact in swine. Consumed orally, the FPs support the body’s natural immune response to inflammation and help the immune system to respond more quickly and efficiently. This helps animals to use their energy for productive functions instead of using it to fight the stressor. FPs help to minimize the effects of stressors and get animals back to normal quickly, effectively and consistently. (Pérez-Bosque et al., 2016). 
Research has shown that plasma derived proteins:
• Reduce the extent and severity of symptoms
• Help speed recovery
• Stimulate water and feed intake
• Get ulcer pigs back on feed fast
• Promote weight gain
• Improve the percentage of pigs that recover to become full value pigs
Plasma Derived Proteins Help Speed Recovery Study Summary (Rhoads et al.,2000)
Impact of gastric ulcers - Image 4
AP 920 spray dried plasma powder or Appetein granulated plasma are both options for use in swine experiencing stress from ulcers and may be formulated into a special diet or used as a top dress. Solutein is a multi-purpose water soluble and (top dress) feed additive management tool. It contains plasma and serum proteins as well as other vital nutrients for swine health and nutrition. Please ask for the Solutein brochure for details on mixing and feeding rates.
Impact of gastric ulcers - Image 5
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