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Ciência Rural

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GUEDES, Karla Moraes Rocha et al. Copper deficiency in swine: clinical-pathologic characterization. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2014, vol.44, n.7, pp.1264-1267. ISSN 0103-8478.

Two cases of copper deficiency are described in three-month-old female crossbred piglets from a swine herd in Planaltina, GO. The animals presented incoordination, hindlimbs paresis progressing to the forelimbs, and gait with flexion of the metacarpofalangeal articulation. On the farm of origin of the animals, other two piglets presented atrophy of thigh muscle and sitting position when in station. The herd was fed with unbalanced diet consisting of corn, whey and leftover crop. On necropsy no significant changes were observed, but histologically there was multifocal periaxonal vacuolization in the brainstem and in spinal cord, discrete amount of axonal spheroids and macrophages in the vacuoles. The luxol fast blue (LFB) stain for myelin showed that the vacuolated sites represent demyelinated areas. Liver sample of the two piglets had very low copper levels, 13.1 parts per million (ppm) in swine A and 5.7 (ppm) in swine B. This paper describes two cases of spinal cord and brainstem demyelination due to copper deficiency in piglets.

Keywords : incoordination; myelin; paresis; periaxonal vacuolation.

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