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Syndrome in
Veal Calves


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Although Porcine Hemorrhagic Syndrome (PHS) is not a new condition, it is one which con­tinues to plague pig producers. This syndrome primarily affects two different age groups of pigs; newborn to 2-3 days of age and recently-weaned pigs. Newborn pigs with PHS have ex­cessive bleeding of the umbilicus and rapidly become anemic;

hence the synonyms "naval-bleeding" or "pale-piglet syndrome" are applicable.  The recently-weaned pig will bleed exces­sively from any type of skin trauma, including bite wounds and injections.  Additionally, these pigs may be lame due to hemarthros1s or may develop large subcutaneous hematomas. Producers with pigs experiencing PHS usually have large num­bers of pigs in each litter affected.

The recommended treatment is Vitamin K(menadione) given parenterally at a re­commended dose of 0.5 to 2.5 mg/kg for large animals.

The exact etiologic agent of this condition is unknown, however possible causes which have been incriminated include:

(1) penthachlorophenol-treated wood shavings in the bedding,

(2) oral antibiotics which may interfere with the normal intestinal flora, thus decreas­ing bacterial production of Vitamin K, (3) diets high in long-chain fatty acids or low in fat which may decrease the absorption of intestinal Vita­min K, (4) mycotoxins in the feed, (5) Porcine cytomegalovi-rus, and (6) Eperythrozoonsui s.

Affected animals have below normallevels of blood clotting factors I I, VI I , IX and X (Vitamin K dependent factors) as well as prolonged prothrom-bin(PT) and activated partial thrombop1astin(APTT or APT) times.  Anemia, due to blood loss, has been reported, while platelet numbers and serum levels of hepatic leakage enzymes are normal.  The findings are consistent with vitamin K deficiency (hypovita-minosis K) or antagonism of Vit am in K ,

The recommended treatment is Vitamin K (menadione) given parenteraily at a recommended dose of 0.5 to 2.5 mg/kg for large animals.  Pigs affected with this condition usually respond rapidly to the treat­ment and the coagulopathy is alleviated within several hours.


Liggett,A.D.: "Porcine Hemorrhagic Syndrome in Recent­ly Weaned Pigs." The Compendi-urn-Food An imal. Vol. 11, No. 11, November 1989, pp. 1409-1413.

Penny, R.H.C.: "Naval Bleeding in Piglets and the Pale Piglet Syndrome." Veterinary Annual.1980, pp. 281-290.

Dr. Randy White, Veterinary Pathologist


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West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-494-7440
Fax: 765-494-9181

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Dubois, IN 47527
Phone: (812) 678-3401
Fax: (812) 678-3412

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