Pigs tested at Norsvin Delta are scored for osteochondrosis with CT technology.
Osteochondrosis is a degenerative alteration in the bones and associated cartilage. The condition is caused by a decrease in the blood supply to the joint cartilage. It can lead to insufficient development of bone tissue and thickened cartilage. Pigs with osteochondrosis may become lame due to pain.
Since 2008, CT-scanning of all male selection candidates has been a routine in the breeding program. Scanning for osteochondrosis is done in the distal humerus and femur.
Figure: (Picture 1) 3-D model of femur of pig based on CT. No signs of OC are to be seen. (Picture 2) 3-D model of femur of pig based on CT. Osteochondrosis can be seen on both lateral and medial side of the condyle.
The information gathered from the CT is stored in a Norsvin database. As part of the “Robust pig” project, Norsvin has developed an assessment system for osteochondrosis based on information from CT scans. The trait “sum score of Osteochondrosis assessed with CT” was implemented in the breeding goal in 2012 for both Norsvin Landrace and Norsvin Duroc.
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Torunn Aasmundstad, PhD. student