Heat stress in pigs – Effects on gut and production

Heat stress is a current and emerging issue, due to climate changes, expansion of animal production systems to tropical and subtropical regions and the selection for lean breeds, which are more susceptible to heat stress. Heat stress causes millions of dollars losses to the swine industry, due to the negative impact on performance, health, and animal welfare.

The first response of pigs when exposed to heat stress is the decrease in feed intake, which will directly impact the productivity of the animals. Also, the blood flow is redistributed to the periphery during heat stress to favor heat dissipation. Consequently, the intestine and other internal organs are negatively affected by the reduced oxygen and nutrient supply.

Intestinal inflammation and oxidative stress are direct outcomes of heat stress. Intestinal inflammation negatively affects the morphology and disturbs the normal function of the intestinal barrier, thus altering the digestion and absorption processes and increasing intestinal permeability, finally leading to the “leaky gut” syndrome and poor performance.

Specific botanical feed additives that improve the animal’s response to heat stress and prevent the damage to the intestinal barrier can be used to mitigate the consequences of heat stress on animal production. Please contact us for more information, we can help you maintain productivity!

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