Publish Date: June 3, 2006
Historical reports of hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) in swine describe infrequent, explosive outbreaks of sudden deaths with intestinal hemorrhage and no apparent infectious cause. Hemorrhagic bowel syndrome does not have a single, known etiology nor are specific risk factors consistently associated with the deaths. A diagnosis of HBS is applied only after thorough efforts to rule out other causes of rapid death and intestinal hemorrhage have been completed. The most common differential diagnoses are intestinal volvulus (twisted gut), the hemorrhagic form of porcine proliferative enteritis (PPE, ileitis), gastric ulcers, bacterial toxemia (e.g. acute infections with Salmonella or hemolytic E. coli), or other causes of sudden death. Control requires that one accurately rule out other known causes of sudden death, objectively assess environment and feeding practices, and properly manage risk factors that may be present. Reports of specific, consistently successful therapeutic interventions are rare.