Defining the effect of oxytocin use in farrowing sows on stillbirth rate: A systematic review with a meta-analysis
Hill, S.V. et al. (2022) Defining the effect of oxytocin use in farrowing sows on stillbirth rate: A systematic review with a meta-analysis. Animals, 12 (14), p. 1795
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to identify the benefits and possible side effects of the use of oxytocin during farrowing.
A literature search was carried out on four bibliographic databases for primary studies published in English between 1970-2020. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians database was also searched for relevant reports and conference proceedings. Results were then screened for inclusion based on the study’s population, intervention, comparison, outcomes, and design. Following screening, 58 studies remained, and of these, 11 cross-sectional studies and one cohort study were not further processed, leaving 46 clinical trials eligible for data collection.
Only 25 studies had sufficient information to be used in a meta-analysis. This pooled analysis showed that the average number of stillborn pigs was lower in the comparator group compared to the oxytocin group. Both farrowing duration and the birth interval between piglets were shorter in the oxytocin group compared to the comparator.
There was heterogeneity between the studies with a lack of consistency in the results due to variation in the usage of oxytocin, including dosages, timing, and routes of administration. Using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomised studies of interventions, 91% of the studies had an overall risk of bias of ‘some concerns’.
This systematic review provides some evidence of the benefits and possible side effects of the use of oxytocin during farrowing. Further research is encouraged on the use of oxytocin, including dosages and the route and timing of administration.
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