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Injection boosts piglet weight. (Science Update).

A one-time injection of an anti-inflammatory agent used in veterinary and human medicine may help newborn pigs get off to a better start. Repeated small-scale tests have shown about a 12-percent faster gain in body weight during the first 18 days of life in piglets given dexamethasone. It's a synthetic version of a type of hormone--a corticoid--that is naturally produced by animals under stress.

Cutting by just one day the length of time it takes pigs to reach market weight could boost swine producers' annual income by tens of millions of dollars. So researchers want to see whether within the first hour of birth is the best time for treating newborn pigs with dexamethasone. And they are beginning to test the one-time treatment's long-term effects on pigs. They do this by measuring the rate of weight gain, amount of feed consumed per pound of gain, and body composition at market weight. Jeffrey A. Carroll, USDA-ARS Animal Physiology Research Unit, Columbia, Missouri; phone (573) 882-6261, e-mail carrollja@missouri.edu.
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Title Annotation:anti-inflammatory agents
Comment:Injection boosts piglet weight. (Science Update).(anti-inflammatory agents)
Publication:Agricultural Research
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:168
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