2 webinars were devoted to gut health in pigs during the Misset International Webinar Week, held 16-20 November 2020. The first of the 2 is now available for viewing.
First speaker of the webinar was Dr Linda Peeters, DVM, who is a swine veterinarian at GD Animal Health. Dr Peeters discussed the diagnostic approach to diarrhoea in pigs touching on the topics of clinical inspection, sample collection, laboratory tests, treatment and prevention. She first outlined the different types of swine diarrhoea and how to tackle them with the diagnostic approach which include a clinical inspection and analysis of the farm.
Dr Peeters said, “We need to get a clear picture of what is going on; therefore we need to know the age of the pigs that are affected, the number affected and we need a good description of the diarrhoea. Testing of the pathogens involved is critical as well as careful interpretation of the results.”
She also discussed Salmonella infections in pigs and how the bacteria is not easy to get rid of in swine herds. In conclusion Dr Peeters said prevention against salmonella was a better approach and included biosecurity, cleaning and disinfecting and the acidification of feed and drinking water.
Next speaker was Wouter de Bruin, technical support for swine at Phileo by Lesaffre, who focused on improving the gut health of small piglets. He recognised that while the number of piglets born live per sow was strongly increasing over the years, there was a downside to this which was that birthweights are decreasing and that smaller piglets had a more difficult start to life. De Bruin introduced the benefits of feeding the probiotic yeast Actisaf 47 to sows in order to help with the issue.
In summary, De Bruin said: “Feeding Actisaf to sows benefits the offspring, enhances colostrum composition and stimulates immune transfer resulting in sows being able to feed larger litters properly.”
Last speaker was Bart Hillen, regional technical manager at DuPont, who discussed optimising the nutribiotic state in pigs in a time when swine producers are facing the need to reduce and remove antibiotics as well as zinc.
Hillen highlighted the 3 major pillars that define the health status and performance of pigs, nutrition, gut health and microbiome, which all work together in a balance. Looking at the negative issues that could affect this balance Hillen gave such examples as feed composition, presence of pathogens and overfeeding.
After introducing some DuPont products, Hillen concluded: “It is always important to try to keep your animal int that favourable state and if you want to do that you have to respect all 3 of the pillars, and not just 1.”