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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

Management of Pig Health

John J. McGlone, Ph.D.

Pork Industry Institute

Texas Tech University

approaches to ensure pig health
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
  • 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
  • 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)
heard health program
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
heard health program6
Heard Health Program
  • Euthanaisa
    • Blunt trauma for piglets
    • CO2 for piglets, too
    • Penetrating captive bolt for larger pigs
  • Vaccinations
  • Antimicrobials
pig disease categories
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


pig diseases we do not want by exotic disease entry or by bioterrorism
Pig diseases we do not want (by exotic disease entry or by bioterrorism)
  • Hog Cholera
  • Hoof and Mouth
  • African Swine Fever


hog cholera
Hog Cholera
  • 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).


hog cholera12
Hog Cholera
  • 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


foot hoof and mouth14
Foot (Hoof) and Mouth
  • 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


foot and mouth
Foot and Mouth
  • 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


african swine fever17
African Swine Fever
  • 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


  • Foot and Mouth -- yes
  • Hog Cholera -- yes
  • African Swine Fever -- no
  • What else is out there???


diseases that are regulated by the us government
Diseases that are regulated by the US government
  • Pseudorabies
  • Brucellosis
  • You can be validated as free from these by state agencies
  • Feral pigs are major carriers of these and other diseases


pseudorabies aujeszky s disease21
PseudorabiesAujeszky’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


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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


major classes of production diseases ones some chose to live with
Major Classes of Production Diseases (ones some chose to live with)
  • Respiratory
  • Enteric
  • Reproductive
  • Parasitic
  • Metabolic
  • PRRS
  • Atrophic Rhinitis
  • Mycoplasmal pneumonia
  • Swine influenza
  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
  • 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)
  • 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
atrophic rhinitis31
Atrophic Rhinitis
  • 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
atrophic rhinitis33
Atrophic Rhinitis
  • 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
atrophic rhinitis34
Atrophic Rhinitis
  • 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
mycoplasmal pneumonia36
Mycoplasmal pneumonia
  • 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
mycoplasmal pneumonia37
Mycoplasmal pneumonia
  • Several antibiotics are available; all are only partially effective
  • SEW may help prevent its spread
  • Suggest: Depopulate
actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae39
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
  • 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
actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae40
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
  • 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
swine influenza
Swine influenza
  • 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
swine influenza43
Swine influenza
  • 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
pneumonic pasteurellosis
Pneumonic Pasteurellosis
  • 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
enteric diseases
Enteric Diseases
  • TGE
  • E. coli
  • Swine dysentery
  • Ileitis (proliferative enteropathies)
  • Clostridium
  • Coccidia
  • Rotavirus
  • Transmissible Gastro Enteritis
  • Viral: Coronavirus; RNA
  • Severe enteric symptoms; there is a Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus (PRCV) that cross reacts with TGE
  • 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
e coli
E. coli
  • 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
swine dysentery51
Swine dysentery
  • 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
ileitis proliferative enteropathies53
Ileitis (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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Reproductive
  • Parasites
  • Porcine Stress Syndrome
  • Prolapse, Ulcer & Hernia
  • Mycotoxins
  • Skin/joint problems, esp. Erysipelas
  • MMA
  • Behavioral problems
  • Brucellosis (see above)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvo Virus
  • PRRS (see above)
  • 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
parvo virus
Parvo Virus
  • Virus of family Parvoviridae; DNA
  • Embryonic and fetal deaths
  • Main symptom is stillborn pigs or lower numbers born alive
  • Vaccines are available
  • No excuse to have them
  • Trichinosis
  • Ascarid
  • Kidney
  • Mange
  • Lice
porcine stress syndrome66
Porcine Stress Syndrome
  • 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
prolapse ulcer hernia
Prolapse, Ulcer & Hernia
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mastitis, Metritis, Agalagtia (usually hypogalactia)
  • Multi-factorial cause; genetic predisposition; bacterial infections; constipation; lack of exercise
  • Piglets waste away and die due to malnutrition
skin joint problems esp erysipelas
Skin/joint problems, esp. Erysipelas
  • 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
behavioral problems
Behavioral Problems
  • Tail biting & ear chewing
  • Savaging piglets
  • Naval/Urine sucking
  • Not a problem:-- bar biting-- phantom nest building-- aggression in pigs less than 100 lb
the end
The End
  • Thanks to Iowa State University for swine disease pictures. See: