Planate - Consistent planned induction of farrowing
David G S Burch BVetMed MRCVS
Octagon Services Ltd
(Review prepared for Schering-Plough Animal Health UK, published in "Pig World")


The use of prostaglandins for the controlled induction of farrowing has been successfully and widely used over many years. The advantages are to improve batching of farrowing and to induce farrowing in the daytime when labour is more readily available and farrowing can be better supervised, so prompt assistance may be given to a sow, which may have difficulty. This ensures safer delivery of the piglets and thereby reduces piglet mortality. Prostaglandins act on the corpora lutea of pregnancy in the sow’s ovaries and cause them to regress, signaling to the body that it is time to give birth. The injection is given within two days of the individual farm’s calculated average farrowing date (approximately 115 days but ranges between 111-119 days) to avoid problems with weak piglets, which may affect viability.

The major products licensed for use in pigs in the United Kingdom are: -


A number of recent studies have confirmed the efficacy of these products in comparison with untreated controls, highlighting the effects of controlling farrowing as well as comparing a number of products.


In a recent study cloprostenol was injected intramuscularly 24-48 hours prior to the due farrowing date, in a 1250 sow piggery over a 5 week period and compared with an untreated control and dinoprost. The time to onset of farrowing from treatment and its duration were recorded. The response to treatment was also recorded.

Graph 1. Cumulative percentage of sows farrowing by time period after treatment

(Source: Cameron and others, 2000)


The majority of treated sows had farrowed by 35 hours after treatment, 96.5% with cloprostenol and 93.8% with dinoprost and only 33.8% in the untreated controls. It was also noted that the sows treated with dinoprost showed various degrees of excessive nesting behaviour, whereas sows treated with cloprostenol showed minimal stress and discomfort.

Occasionally sows treated with dinoprost have been reported not to respond to treatment, the cause of which has not been determined but this was not observed in this study.

Graph 2. Percentage of sows farrowing by time period after treatment

(Source: Cameron and others, 2000)


It can be seen in graph 2 that importantly the majority of sows farrow in the next working daytime (between 20-35 hours) when they can be observed and the normal spread from not treating can be easily seen in the controls.


In a further study, cloprostenol was compared with luprostiol and an untreated control. Similar hours to farrowing and farrowing duration were noted as in the previous trial but both products, cloprostenol and luprostiol, were not associated with the excessive nesting behaviour noted previously with dinoprost.


Table 1. Comparison of hours to farrow and farrowing duration


Treatment group

No of sows

Hours to farrow

Farrowing duration (hours)

Cameron and others, 2000















Keita and others, 2002















*Significantly different p<0.001


Cloprostenol consistently showed a significantly reduced average time to farrow and numerically shorter farrowing time in both trials in comparison with untreated controls.


Prostaglandins must be used with care and ideally should not be handled by women of child-bearing age, asthmatics and persons with bronchial or other respiratory problems, direct contact should be avoided, as they can be absorbed via the skin and miscarriage and bronchospasm may occur. Disposable plastic gloves should be worn when administering these products. Veterinary advice should be sort concerning their use.


When prostaglandins such as Planate (cloprostenol) are used carefully with good stockmanship, they can be extremely useful tools for the induction of farrowing, to facilitate batching, to control the timing, when supervisory staff are readily available to assist and to increase piglet survival.



Cameron, R.D.A., Kieran, P.J. and Martin, I. (2000) The efficacy in inducing batch farrowing and the impact on sow behaviour of the prostaglandins cloprostenol and dinoprost. Proceedings of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress, Melbourne, Australia, p 386


Keïta, A., Driancourt, M.A., Pommier, P., Pagot, E. and Hervé, V. (2002) Induction of parturition in sows using luprostiol and cloprostenol: efficacy and safety evaluation. Proceedings of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress, Ames, Iowa, USA, p475


Pharmaceutical Products for Pigs :  Octagon Technical Papers

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