A correlation between the exocrine pancreatic function and growth has been previously demonstrated in growing pigs but the data are inconsistent. This was investigated by studying the growth performance of pigs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) at different ages and maintained under similar conditions. Twelve 7 week old (10.5 +/- 1.3 kg) weaners, and twelve 16 week old (43 +/- 5 kg) growing-finishing pigs were used in the experiments, and 6 pigs from each group were operated and pancreatic duct-ligated. Starting at 3-5 weeks after the operation, when EPI had developed, weekly recordings of feed consumption and growth were done before, during and after feed supplementation with porcine pancreatin (Creon (R) 10000). In weaner pigs, EPI caused growth arrest while it did not affect the growth of older pigs, as compared to respective un-operated groups of pigs. The daily feed consumption (DFC) was lower in the weaner EPI-pigs while it was similar in the growing-finishing EPI-pigs, as compared to un-operated pigs. Feed supplementation with Creon (R) improved the DFC and growth in both the EPI and un-operated pigs. In conclusion, the results showed the importance of the exocrine pancreatic function for growth in weaner pigs, while in older animals it played a minor role in growth. Feed supplementation with pancreatin increased the appetite and ensured an improved feed conversion.
6th International Symposium for Young Scientists - Human and Animal Development: Regulatory Mechanisms