Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Robert N. Swanson


Ever since man has moved to confinement farrowing of swine, the problem of iron-deficiency in baby pigs has increased. The problem can be partially alleviated by various treatments which can be employed by the swine producer. However, many of these treatments stress to the young piglet and involve much time and labor, which may not be available during parturition. A beneficial tool to the porcine producer would be the elimination of both the stress placed on the neonatal pig and of the extra labor providing a hematinic which would be administered prepartum to the dam. The hematinic employed must be absorbed by the dam, nontoxic, and able to be transported across the placental barrier to the fetus and available for metabolic processes. Bagley and associates demonstrated that an iron-chelate, ferric nitrilotriacetic acid (Fe-NTA), has not, to the author’s knowledge, been investigated in pregnant swine. Bothwell, observed in pregnant rabbits, that the amount of iron transported from the maternal plasma to fetus increased progressively with age and weight of the fetus. Since the last trimester in pregnancy demonstrates the greatest increase in fetal weight, this would be the most desirable time frame to examine a transportable hematinic. The primary objective of this experiment is to observe the enhancement of iron absorption in response to Fe-NTA, FeC13, and NTA by the pregnant sow and their effect on iron transport across the placenta to the fetus. Their effects on iron absorption and assimilation by the fetuses for metabolic processes will be observed by their influences on certain hemogram parameters. The hemogram parameters to be measured are red blood enumeration, hemoglobin levels, packed cell volume and Wintrobe indicies of both the dam and her newborn piglets. Approximately the last three weeks of gestation and the first three weeks of lactation will be evaluated. The secondary objective of this experiment is to determine the effects of the various treatments on evaluating milk iron levels and its availability to newborn pigs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Diseases
Iron deficiency anemia
Absorption (Physiology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University