Swine Health

Factsheets

Biosecurity for the Producer

Publish Date: 06/16/2022

What is biosecurity? Biosecurity can be subdivided into 3 parts: 1) bio-exclusion involves keeping pathogens out of a herd, 2) bio-management involves managing pathogens already in a herd to minimize the negative consequences, and 3) bio-containment involves preventing pathogens from escaping a herd and putting other farms at risk. Bio-exclusion will be the focus of this factsheet. Improving bio-exclusion requires taking time to identify the most significant vulnerabilities on farms to determine what should be done next. It starts with identifying vulnerabilities that can result in pathogens being introduced into a herd (step 1) and then prioritizing bio-exclusion control measures to address them (step 2). Historically, relatively little time has been spent on the first step resulting in slow progress in improving biosecurity.


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Factsheets

Steps for Treatment, Control and Elimination of Swine Dysentery

Publish Date: 06/13/2022

Swine dysentery (SD or bloody scours), once one of the most expensive swine diseases, largely disappeared in North America in the 1990’s with three site production and improved hygiene, among other changes in swine industry structure. However, since the early 2000s, SD has re-emerged in swine operations in portions of the U.S. and several Canadian provinces. SD is an intestinal bacterial disease that is very expensive to treat and control medically. It is very difficult to completely eliminate once pigs and facilities are contaminated. SD can be spread by infected swine, rodents and other animals in contact with infected swine as well as any fecal material on equipment or clothing. Biosecurity practices are effective at reducing the exposure risks and, when properly implemented, will prevent or slow the spread of this disease (and other diseases) between farms. Your swine veterinarian can assist you in creating a biosecurity plan to prevent introduction to your herd as well as accurate diagnosis should clinical signs of SD be suspected. For more information on how to recognize SD, see the Pork Information Gateway’s Factsheet, “ Swine Dysentery (Bloody Scours); Recognition and Awareness, Diagnosis, Transmission and Clinical Signs”.


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Factsheets

Swine Dysentery (Bloody Scours); Recognition and Awareness, Diagnosis, Transmission and Clinical Signs

Publish Date: 06/13/2022

Swine dysentery (SD or bloody scours), once one of the most expensive swine diseases, largely disappeared in North America in the 1990’s with three site production and improved hygiene, among other changes in swine industry structure. However, since the early 2000s, SD has re-emerged in swine operations in portions of the U.S. and several Canadian provinces. SD is an intestinal bacterial disease that is very expensive to treat and control medically. It is very difficult to completely eliminate once pigs and facilities are contaminated. SD can be spread by infected swine, rodents and other animals in contact with infected swine as well as any fecal material on equipment or clothing. Biosecurity practices are effective at reducing the exposure risks and, when properly implemented, will prevent or slow the spread of this disease (and other diseases) between farms. Please see the Pork Information Gateway Factsheet, “Steps for Treatment, Control and Elimination of Swine Dysentery” for more information.


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Factsheets

Glasserella parasuis: The Causal Agent of Glasser's Disease

Publish Date: 05/05/2022

Glässer’s disease is an important cause of post-weaning morbidity and mortality in swine populations worldwide. The disease was first described in 1910, but the etiological agent was not isolated until 1922. It is a gram-negative bacterium Glaesserella parasuis (G. parasuis), formerly known as Haemophilus parasuis, that belongs to the Pasteurellaceae family (Dickerman et al., 2019). G. parasuis is part of the normal microbiota of pigs and is an early colonizer of piglets. The bacterium can be detected in the trachea, nasal passages or tonsils of piglets as early as two days after birth. Pigs can be colonized by both virulent and non-virulent strains. Although it is normally found in the upper respiratory tract (URT) of pigs, upon disruption of pig’s immune system, it causes Glässer’s disease. The disease is normally observed in 4 through 8-week-old pigs (nursery pigs) but it can sporadically occur in older pigs (Aragon et al., 2019). Weaned piglets are more susceptible because of waning maternal antibodies. Proper diagnosis and typing of isolates is crucial to understand the molecular epidemiology of strains involved and to design better herd-specific autogenous vaccines to control the disease. Knowledge of the circulating strains within or between farms is crucial. Traditionally, serotyping has been the most common typing method, with 15 known serotypes (Kielstein and Rapp-Gabrielson, 1992).


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Factsheets

Early and Systematic Observations to Improve the Welfare of the Sick or Compromised Pig

Publish Date: 11/18/2021

A “compromised animal” has been broadly defined as an animal which is unable to function optimally. Deficiencies in an animal’s well-being may result from changes in their physical, environmental, nutritional, behavioral, or social needs that are not adequately met and these effects may range from a medically treatable condition to one from which recovery is not likely which might require humane euthanasia (1). Early and systematic observation by the stockperson or caretaker will help identify the sick or compromised pig and encourage a timely and appropriate response by following the farm’s treatment protocols and consulting with a veterinarian.


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Factsheets

Salmonellosis and Salmonella Infections

Publish Date: 09/01/2021

Salmonella enterica is the genus and species of bacteria that is important to swine producers for two major reasons: 1. Salmonella infections can cause severe disease in pigs (salmonellosis); and 2. Pigs can carry and shed Salmonella indefinitely, which can be a source of Salmonella-associated food poisoning to humans via contamination of pork products.


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Factsheets

Application of precision livestock farming technologies in swine welfare management: What is possible today?

Publish Date: 07/01/2020

It is estimated that by the year 2050 the world population will be over 9 billion people and food production will need to increase up to 60% more to meet demand (FAO 2009). Therefore, livestock production would likely intensify increasing animal density and lowering the stockperson per animal ratio. This will result in less time available to monitor and manage individual animals properly, jeopardizing animal health and welfare. Currently, there is a growing interest to automate swine welfare assessment using precision livestock farming (PLF) which increases the farmer’s ability to keep contact with individual animals in the growing livestock production intensification.


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Videos

Commercial Swine Industry Biosecurity Principles

Publish Date: 06/20/2018

This video highlights the importance of applying biosecurity principles on the farm and illustrates these principles for the public, new employees, for review by current employees and anyone else entering a swine farm.


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Videos

Environmental Sampling

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.


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Videos

Blood Collection in Swine

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.


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