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Management of Pig Health. John J. McGlone, Ph.D. Pork Industry Institute Texas Tech University. Approaches to Ensure Pig Health. Biosecurity – keep diseases out In-coming breeding stock Wildlife (rodents, birds) Feeds and biologicals Disease Prevention

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Management of pig health l.jpg

Management of Pig Health

John J. McGlone, Ph.D.

Pork Industry Institute

Texas Tech University

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Approaches to Ensure Pig Health

  • Biosecurity – keep diseases out

    • In-coming breeding stock

    • Wildlife (rodents, birds)

    • Feeds and biologicals

  • Disease Prevention

    • All-in-all-out & pig flow (breaks cycle)

    • Sanitation -- kill pathogens

    • Vaccination

    • Sub-therapeutic antimicrobials

  • Therapy

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  • Rule #1 put as much distance as possible between your pigs and other pigs

  • Rule #2 isolate, test and acclimate in-coming breeding stock – do not allow entry if infected

  • Rule #3 Control flow of people, pigs, feed and equipment

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  • The pathogen cycle

    • Clean, new facility

    • Pigs shed bacteria

    • Room cleaned 99%

    • Pathogens build-up over time

  • Effective sanitation (see book Table 20-1)

    • Remove all organic matter

    • Sanitize at a minimum (killing 99% of bacteria)

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Heard Health Program

  • Veterinary-approved

  • Disease surveillance

    • Necropsy ill pigs

    • Blood collection

    • Fecal, urine, skin scrapings collections

  • Slaughter check

    • Liver

    • Lungs

    • Snout

    • Intestine

    • Skin

    • Kidney

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Heard Health Program

  • Euthanaisa

    • Blunt trauma for piglets

    • CO2 for piglets, too

    • Penetrating captive bolt for larger pigs

  • Vaccinations

  • Antimicrobials

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Pig Disease Categories

  • Diseases we do not want to get (that we know about)

  • Diseases that are regulated by the US government with an eye towards eradication

  • Other diseases to manage


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Pig diseases we do not want (by exotic disease entry or by bioterrorism)

  • Hog Cholera

  • Hoof and Mouth

  • African Swine Fever


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Hog Cholera bioterrorism)

  • Classic Swine Fever

  • Viral; single stand of RNA

  • Family: Togaviridae, Genus: Pestivirus

  • Same family as BVD

  • USA eradication was from 1962-1976

  • Has not been eradicated from Europe (note The Netherlands).


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Hog Cholera bioterrorism)

  • Infected pigs shed virus for 10-20 days

  • Can be transmitted in utero

  • Feeding garbage exacerbates the spread; leading to the outlaw of this practice in many states.

  • 6-day incubation period; Respiratory; enteric; anorexia; hunched; ataxia; leukopenia


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Foot (Hoof) and Mouth bioterrorism)


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Foot (Hoof) and Mouth bioterrorism)

  • A picornavirus

  • Family: Picornaviridae; Genus: Apthovirus(Aptha, in Greek means vessicles in the mouth)

  • RNA virus; 7 serotypes

  • Can infect pigs, cattle, sheep & goats

  • Aerosol is highly contagious


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Foot and Mouth bioterrorism)

  • Can be transmitted in semen; not the fetus

  • North and Central America is free; South America, Africa & Asia are infected

  • 3-5 day incubation period

  • Vessicles in mouth and between toes;

  • Sharp fever, abortion; skin lesions leading to sluffing of tissue


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African Swine Fever bioterrorism)


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African Swine Fever bioterrorism)

  • DNA-containing virus; Family: Iridovirdae

  • Only pigs (including wart hogs and the like) are susceptible; ticks may be carriers

  • High fever & mortality; respiratory distress;Hemorragic disease

  • May resemble Hog Cholera

  • Little antibody formation -- no vaccine


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Vaccines? bioterrorism)

  • Foot and Mouth -- yes

  • Hog Cholera -- yes

  • African Swine Fever -- no

  • What else is out there???


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Diseases that are regulated by the US government bioterrorism)

  • Pseudorabies

  • Brucellosis

  • You can be validated as free from these by state agencies

  • Feral pigs are major carriers of these and other diseases


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Pseudorabies bioterrorism)Aujeszky’s Disease


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Pseudorabies bioterrorism)Aujeszky’s Disease

  • Viral; Herpesviridae of the subfamily alphavuirus; DNA

  • While pigs are the only “natural” host, it infects all farm animals and vermin

  • All pigs can be infected; suckling pigs are least affected

  • Transmitted by aerosol, fluids, incl. semen


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PRV bioterrorism)

  • 2-4 day incubation period

  • Nervous symptoms among younger pigs (ataxia) and respiratory and reproductive symptoms among older pigs (G-F & sows)

  • Mortality can be 100% among piglets

  • Farrowing rate is reduced due to abortions and many stillbirths are observed

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PRV bioterrorism)

  • Few gross lesions; respiratory & GI tracts are affected

  • Genetically-engineered vaccine allows vaccination titers to be distinguished from natural infections

  • States & USA quarantine the herd as a part of the eradication program

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Brucellosis bioterrorism)

  • Bacteria -- Brucella suis

  • Infects pigs and humans (a different organism infects cattle -- Brucella abortus -- with only a little cross over)

  • Nearly eradicated in the USA (TX still infected)

  • Venereal disease of swine; Reproductive failures, especially abortions


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Major Classes of Production Diseases (ones some chose to live with)

  • Respiratory

  • Enteric

  • Reproductive

  • Parasitic

  • Metabolic

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Respiratory live with)

  • PRRS

  • Atrophic Rhinitis

  • Mycoplasmal pneumonia

  • Swine influenza

  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

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PRRS live with)

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PRRS live with)

  • Lelystad virus

  • In 1997, 68.5% of USA farms were seropositive

  • Farrowing rate declines by 50%

  • Stillbirths & preweaning mortality & growing pig mortality increases by 300%(1-3 pigs/litter born dead; 2 to 6 % mortality in each of nursery & G-F)

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PRRS live with)

  • Modified live vaccine offers poor protection

  • No effective treatment

  • Widespread problem; not solved by SEW or any measure other than “all-in-all-out and wait” or depopulate

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Atrophic Rhinitis live with)

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Atrophic Rhinitis live with)

  • Caused by 2 organisms:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica causes a non-progressive form of AR

  • Progressive (severe) AR is caused by toxigenic Pasteurella Multocida

  • When both organisms are present, the AR is especially symptomatic

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Atrophic Rhinitis live with)

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Atrophic Rhinitis live with)

  • Severe turbinate atrophy, bloody & crooked noses, followed by increased incidence of respiratory tract lesions and infections

  • Genetic predisposition is possible

  • Caustic air environments exacerbate the symptoms

  • SEW may help eliminate the bugs

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Atrophic Rhinitis live with)

  • Production set-backs are the most costly

  • Vaccines are available for BB & PM

  • Sulfamethazine is effective, but banned in some countries; a host of partially effective antibiotics are available

  • Suggest: Depopulation

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Mycoplasmal pneumonia live with)

  • Also called enzootic pneumonia

  • Bacteria: Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

  • Nose-to-nose contact spreads the organism

  • Highly prevalent in the the USA, Europe, Australia and most modern pig countries

  • Lungs have lesions; secondary infections; performance set-backs

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Mycoplasmal pneumonia live with)

  • Several antibiotics are available; all are only partially effective

  • SEW may help prevent its spread

  • Suggest: Depopulate

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Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae live with)

  • Also called Haemophilus pleuropneumoniae

  • Bacteria of the name: Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

  • Widespread distribution

  • Economic cost is associated with rapid, high mortality, rather than only production set-backs

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Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae live with)

  • Brought on by stress; can be acute or chronic

  • Rapid fever, foamy, bloody respiratory tract discharge; death within 36 hours; tract is inflamed and bloody;

  • Rapid, high levels of certain antibiotics can be effective

  • Suggest: Clean up or depopulate

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Swine influenza live with)

  • Also called swine flu, caused by a virus; Influenza A virus (Orthomyxoviridae family); Different serotypes;

  • Birds and other mammals may carry or become infected by the virus -- including humans

  • Mild stress brings out symptoms

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Swine influenza live with)

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Swine influenza live with)

  • Significant respiratory symptoms, including dog-barking type of coughing

  • Fever is mild; 1-3 day incubation period

  • No specific treatment is available; make sure water is available

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Pneumonic Pasteurellosis live with)

  • From Pasteurella multocida (gram negative coccobacillus)

  • See Atrophic Rhinitis for more details

  • Often isolated and labeled the cause of death following acute respiratory distress

  • Many antibiotics are available

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Enteric Diseases live with)

  • TGE

  • E. coli

  • Swine dysentery

  • Ileitis (proliferative enteropathies)

  • Clostridium

  • Coccidia

  • Rotavirus

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TGE live with)

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TGE live with)

  • Transmissible Gastro Enteritis

  • Viral: Coronavirus; RNA

  • Severe enteric symptoms; there is a Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus (PRCV) that cross reacts with TGE

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TGE live with)

  • 18 h to 3 day incubation period; then severe scours; 50-100% of piglets will die; fewer older pigs; sows vomit; watery to yellow scours with a foul odor

  • Destruction of intestinal epithelium; pigs unthrifty for life

  • Feed-back of dead pigs is best

  • Strikes more in winter

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E. coli live with)

  • E. coli is a common intestinal bacteria; pathogenic E. coli is the enteric organism;

  • Enteric Colibacillosis; many serotypes

  • Gram negative, flagellated rods; bacteria produces endotoxin

  • Symptoms like TGE; lower death loss and it should respond to antibiotics if treated early

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Swine dysentery live with)

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Swine dysentery live with)

  • Bloody scours; mucohemorrhagic diarrhea

  • Bacteria: Treponema hyodysenteriae; 7 serotypes known

  • Bloody scours, especially in G-F pigs

  • Fever; deaths if untreated

  • Several antibiotics are available

  • Suggest: depopulation

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Ileitis live with)(proliferative enteropathies)



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Ileitis live with)(proliferative enteropathies)

  • Several diseases in this category; some bacterial, others of unknown cause

  • Campylobacter genus is involved

  • Sudden deaths; some times bloody scours; slow growth

  • Some antibiotics are somewhat effective

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Clostridium live with)

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Clostridium live with)

  • Fatal necrotic enteritis

  • Several bacteria, especially Clostridium perfringens type C (also tetanus & botulism)

  • Young piglets will die within 36 hours; in the chronic form they may live 1 week

  • Dehydration; red feces

  • Antibiotics can be effective

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Coccidia live with)

  • Obligatory intracellular protozoan parasite

  • Isospora suis

  • Symptoms start 7-14 days of age; yellow to grayish diarrhea; rancid odor

  • Several anticoccidials to piglets (giving to sows not effective)

  • Suggest: stringent sanitation; all-in-all-out

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Rotavirus live with)

  • Virus of the Reoviridae family of the genus Rotavirus

  • Very common in nature; many serotypes

  • 12-24 h incubation period; nursing pigs most affected; can be high mortality or a mild scours; weanlings may show signs

  • Expose sows to give piglets immunity

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Others live with)

  • Reproductive

  • Parasites

  • Porcine Stress Syndrome

  • Prolapse, Ulcer & Hernia

  • Mycotoxins

  • Skin/joint problems, esp. Erysipelas

  • MMA

  • Behavioral problems

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Reproductive live with)

  • Brucellosis (see above)

  • Leptospirosis

  • Parvo Virus

  • PRRS (see above)

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Leptospirosis live with)

  • Bacteria of the Leptospira; gram negative rods; 7 serotypes (or more)

  • Infection of mucous membranes

  • Mild symptoms of anorexia, listlessness

  • Major reproductive problems: abortions, lower farrowing rates

  • Vaccines are available

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Parvo Virus live with)

  • Virus of family Parvoviridae; DNA

  • Embryonic and fetal deaths

  • Main symptom is stillborn pigs or lower numbers born alive

  • Vaccines are available

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Parasites live with)

  • No excuse to have them

  • Trichinosis

  • Ascarid

  • Kidney

  • Mange

  • Lice

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Ascarid life cycle live with)

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Trichina live with)

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Porcine Stress Syndrome live with)

  • Genetic condition caused by a mutation of a gene

  • Malignant hyperthermia

  • Halothane gene Hal 1873; genetic test

  • Single gene: carrier, mono-mutants

  • Two genes; di-mutant

  • Test and eliminate

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Prolapse, Ulcer & Hernia live with)

  • Genetic predisposition to each

  • Prolapses can be rectal or vaginal

  • Hernias can be inguinal or scrotal

  • Multi-factorial causes

  • Diet contributes to all, but not the main cause

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Mycotoxins live with)

  • Metabolites of mold/fungal growth from the genus Fusarium

  • Aflotoxins, Ochratoxin and citrinin, Trichothecenes, Zeralenone, Ergot and Fumonisins

  • Reduce feed intake and several cause reproductive problems due to steroid activity

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MMA live with)

  • Mastitis, Metritis, Agalagtia (usually hypogalactia)

  • Multi-factorial cause; genetic predisposition; bacterial infections; constipation; lack of exercise

  • Piglets waste away and die due to malnutrition

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Skin/joint problems, esp. Erysipelas live with)

  • Erysipelas, diamond skin disease, caused by a bacteria Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae; fever, followed by skin lesions, and then joint inflammation

  • Vaccines available for Erysipelas

  • Other bacteria can cause skin and/or joint inflammation: Streptococci, Staphylococci

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Behavioral Problems live with)

  • Tail biting & ear chewing

  • Savaging piglets

  • Naval/Urine sucking

  • Not a problem:-- bar biting-- phantom nest building-- aggression in pigs less than 100 lb

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PMWS and PDNS pictures live with)



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The End live with)

  • Thanks to Iowa State University for swine disease pictures. See: