With dysentery at its highest level for many years, Pfizer Animal Health is launching a new campaign to help increase awareness of the benefits of selecting the best prevention and treatment options.
“The increase in dysentery can be attributed to a combination of factors including more frequent movement of weaners and a reduction in the level of feed medication resulting from the increasing use of more vaccines against other disease,” says veterinary surgeon Nigel Lodge, Pfizer technical manager.
“With the early onset of winter, we know that dysentery will survive outside the pig for up to seven weeks in cold moist conditions and other pathogens for considerably longer.”
The campaign is headed by a new guide ‘Enteric Disease Management’ which looks at prevention and treatment of the problem, one of the most costly to the producer. Dysentery alone is estimated to cost more than £10 / pig finished considering higher mortality, increased feed costs and non-marketable animals.
The guide says that according to the housing system some of the pathogens have extremely long survival times — three months for E coli, nine months for salmonella and one year for coronavirus (transmissible gastroenteritis). It provides advice on limiting infection and reducing stress on the pigs.
Mr Lodge says that the incidence of dysentery fluctuates in different areas of the country with varying antibiotic sensitivity. Hence, a sensitivity test is essential when deciding on a particular medication.
With enteric diseases in general, there is a wide range of causes — including bacteria, viruses, parasites, management or nutrition. “The causal agent can sometimes be diagnosed from clinical signs, such as dysentery, but generally post mortem and laboratory diagnosis is required,” he says.
“There are various antibiotic products which can be used but all should only be used after management issues such as bio security, pen management and rodent control have been addressed.
“Some products are specific in their activity, such as Lincocin® Premix and swine dysentery. Others have a broad spectrum of activity and should be used where mixed infections are diagnosed. Linco-Spectin® Premix, for instance, is active against E coli, Salmonella, ileitis, swine dysentery and other enteric bacteria.”
** Copies of the new publication — including a competition to win two prizes of one tonne of pig feed — are available from Pfizer Animal Health via Scott Wheway: firstname.lastname@example.org’