Acta Vet. Brno 2007, 76: 11-15

Intramuscular versus Subcutaneous Administration of Iron Dextran in Suckling Piglets

M. Svoboda, J. Drábek

Clinic of Pig Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

Received August 15, 2006
Accepted April 26, 2007

The aim of the study was to compare the development of red blood cell indices after subcutaneous versus intramuscular administration of iron dextran to suckling piglets during early postnatal period. The piglets in group I (n = 17) were injected subcutaneously (into groin) with 200 mg Fe3+ as iron dextran on day 3 of life. In group II (n = 16), the piglets received intramuscular injection (into gluteal muscles) of 200 mg Fe3+ as iron dextran on day 3 of life. In group III (n = 10), the piglets did not receive any iron till the age of 3 days. The blood was taken and analyzed (Hb, PCV, RBC, MCV, MCH, MCHC, Fe) on days 3, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35. Haematological indices of piglets in group III were characteristic for hypochromic anaemia. Anaemia in group III had a detrimental effect on the growth rate of piglets. The development of red blood cell indices and iron concentration in blood plasma in subcutaneously treated piglets did not differ significantly from that of intramuscularly-treated group. Both treatments prevented development of anaemia.