Publish Date: 10/07/2015
Environmental sampling is an effective means of describing the health and drug residue status of swine populations. Environmental samples can be used to describe anything in the pigs' living area, such as pen floors, feeders and other barn equipment. This video will provide basic instructions of this simple technique for better on-farm health monitoring.
Publish Date: 10/07/2015
Blood collection, or "bleeding" is one of the most basic and useful skills for the swine practitioner. Serology from blood collection allows veterinarians to run several diagnostic tests, both in the face of disease outbreaks and for routine surveillance.
Publish Date: 10/07/2015
This video outlines swine lactation, which is one of the most critical factors in the husbandry and health of both sows and piglets. The lactating sow or gilt is the sole source of neonatal piglet nutrition and immunity. Proper lactation is essential for providing baby piglets the ability to grow, thrive, and be successfully weaned. Several management and biological factors play a role in swine lactation. This video will: - describe basic lactational physiology - troubleshoot any issues that may occur during lactation - briefly detail milk collection from the sow
Publish Date: 12/08/2014
Previously, lactation failure in swine was known as MMA (Mastitis, Metritis, Agalactia) syndrome. Now it belongs to the Postpartum Dysgalactia Syndrome (PDS) and affects the optimum expression of the sows’ productive capacity in a way that is much less clinically visible. It is referred to as a syndrome to indicate that there may be several risk factors and clinical signs that are referred to collectively as lactation failure or, more exactly, an early and temporary dysgalactia (i.e. reduced or insufficient milk production). MMA can be seen as the emerging part of an iceberg represented by PDS, which is the more important and underestimated part and thus most dangerous. It is a major concern to pork producer because of the economic impact although it is difficult to quantify.
Publish Date: 10/23/2014
A compromised animal, in biological terms, refers to an animal which is unable to function optimally. Observing pigs daily, by walking the pens will contribute to early identification of compromised pigs (1,2). In order to identify sick pigs, it is important to know what a normal, healthy group of pigs should look like. This fact sheet provides illustrations and a system, to be used as a tool, for assessing nursery pigs. This tool systematically assesses the body, eyes/ears/nose, skin/hair, and temperament which can easily be remembered by the acronym B.E.S.T
Publish Date: 05/22/2013
In the past few years an expensive swine disease that had largely disappeared has begun to re-emerge in a few Eastern and Midwestern as well as Canadian swine operations. Swine dysentery (SD or bloody scours) is a “gut” disease which is very expensive to treat medically and difficult to effectively remove once pigs and facilities are contaminated. SD is carried by infected swine, other animals in contact with infected swine, as well as small amounts of manure adhered to equipment or clothing. Biosecurity steps that can reduce these exposure risks, and protect your facilities and investments should be immediately implemented to slow the spread of this disease. Your swine veterinarian can assist you in diagnostics and biosecurity plan formulation to protect your herd.
Publish Date: 05/23/2013
Streptococcus suis infection is a significant disease in intensive, indoor swine operations. Strep suis is now the most common cause of meningitis in pigs submitted to veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in Strep suis cases in nursery pigs from herds that have experienced an outbreak of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). Strep suis is a bacterium living in the tonsils of most pigs and capable of causing disease in the brain (meningitis) and other organs (septicemia). While Strep suis is most often associated with meningitis, other manifestations caused by Strep suis include polyserositis, arthritis, valvular endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis and abortion. It is also considered a secondary agent of pneumonia. There are several types of Strep suis. In North America, Types 2 and 3, followed by Types 1/2, 7, and 8 are most prevalent, but types may slightly vary depending on location.
Publish Date: 08/29/2013
Among the economically important diarrheal diseases of baby pigs, transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) remains a cause of sickness and death. All age groups are susceptible. When the disease strikes a seronegative (antibody-free) herd at the time of farrowing, it is not unusual to lose most (often 100%) of the pigs farrowed under 3 weeks of age. A milder enzootic form of TGE, associated with chronic or intermittent episodes of diarrhea usually in 1- to 3-week-old suckling or recently weaned pigs, occurs in partially immune (seropositive) herds that have continuous farrowing or where pigs are regularly added or mixed. After a distinct respiratory variant of TGE (porcine respiratory coronavirus or PRCV) has spread throughout most parts of the world (first in Europe, and then in the US in the 1980’s) occurrences of TGE have become more sporadic. Although accurate statistics are not available, the disease is still reported from parts of Europe, North America and Asia. Serologic surveys indicate that enzootic TGE is widespread throughout the US. Porcine respiratory coronavirus infections have complicated the diagnosis of TGE by generating cross-reactive antibodies that cannot be differentiated using conventional serologic tests, even though they are usually associated with only mild respiratory disease or sub-clinical infections.
Publish Date: 08/29/2013
Group A rotaviruses were first detected in pigs suffering from diarrhea in 1975. It is generally accepted that multiple rotavirus strains are present in most if not all conventional swine herds. Rotavirus infections are very prevalent and are commonly associated with diarrhea in suckling and weaned pigs. Early studies also demonstrated that porcine rotaviruses are physically and serologically similar to rotaviruses recovered from other host species including humans. Originally only rotaviruses sharing a common group A antigen were identified in swine. In 1980, viruses that resembled rotaviruses in physical appearance, size, and biochemical composition were detected using electron microscopy on fecal samples from diarrheic pigs. However, these rotaviruses were serologically different (did not share similar group A rotavirus determinants) from the previously identified conventional group A rotaviruses and hence did not react in diagnostic tests commonly used to detect group A rotavirus. These non-group A rotaviruses that have been referred to by a number of names including pararotaviruses, rotavirus-like viruses, antigenically distinct rotaviruses, and atypical or novel rotaviruses are now classified as groups B and C rotaviruses. Within a rotavirus group (A,B,C,E), the group members share similar viral determinants or antigens and thus cross-react with one another in various serologic or diagnostic tests. However there is no crossreactivity or cross-protection among the different groups of rotavirus, so vaccines for group A rotavirus do not cross-protect against group C rotavirus, etc. Antibodies against both group A and C rotaviruses are found in nearly 100% of pigs as they reach market weight. Detection of group C rotavirus is much more common (up to 56%) in nursing pigs (<7 days of age) while group A rotavirus was detected more commonly (up to 51%) in post-weaning pigs (21-35 days of age). Groups B, C and E rotaviruses are also associated with diarrhea in swine. Serologic surveys have indicated that antibodies to non-group A rotaviruses belonging to groups B,C and E are common in most swine populations. Some human group A, B and C rotavirus strains are of suspected animal origin (porcine, bovine, rodents).
Publish Date: 10/29/2013
Tuberculosis or mycobacterial disease (Tb) is reported in about 0.4% of all swine slaughtered under Federal inspection (based on reports from United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service [USDA] and probably costs the swine industry an estimated $7.3 million annually. This is not a large amount compared to losses from other swine diseases. Although there are relatively few commercial herds infected with TB, the economic losses can be devastating to those producers that have the disease in their herds. The disease in swine has no apparent effect on the health of the animal. Lack of transmission of the disease from swine to humans cannot be proven. Therefore, USDA meat inspection regulations formulated in 1972 call for special handling of carcasses in which evidence of lesions containing acid fast bacteria are found. Economic losses occur to the swine industry because of these regulations. Tuberculosis has been nearly eliminated in cattle and poultry. Tuberculin testing of cattle with subsequent slaughter of reactors and in some cases depopulation of entire herds, has lowered the prevalence of the disease to about 0.0001% (USDA, 2010 records) in slaughter cattle., The poultry industry has changed to all-pullet flocks and has essentially eliminated Tb. Elimination of older birds over a year of age has been an effective control measure. The rate of condemnation for Tb is 0.0001% in light fowl (USDA, 2011 records). It has been assumed by many that eradication of Tb from cattle and chickens would ultimately lead to its eradication in swine. This has not occurred and mycobacterial infections in swine remain a problem for pork producers.