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Category Archive: Global TOP NEWS, Growing Pigs, News, PGT GLOBAL, PGT US, Pig Care, TOP NEWS

Well-developed gilts create foundational success

For replacement gilts to be successful, the farm needs a well-established, well-managed and continually maintained plan, said Joel Sparks, DVM, with AMVC in Audubon, Iowa.

When swine medicine crossed over to human medicine

The tools used countless times to eradicate disease in sow herds and on hog farms became the tools to help pork packing plants reopen last spring after shutting down due to COVID-19.

Strep suis continuously challenges US herds

It’s not unrealistic to say that if you checked the nasal cavities or tonsils of any group of pigs, you would find Strep suis. It is on virtually every hog farm.

Johnson: Five steps for porcine circovirus control

Some breed-to-wean farms that have been vaccinated for porcine circovirus (PCV) have experienced breakdowns in their control of the virus. Clayton Johnson, DVM, outlines his top five steps for...

Study sheds light on antimicrobial use in US wean-to-market pigs

The findings of a recent study show it’s feasible to obtain data on antimicrobial use while keeping information confidential.

8 ways to boost immunity in livestock

Victor Cortese, DVM, PhD, drew on his decades of field experience and expertise in immunology to offer tips for optimizing immunity in swine herds in the face of IAV-S.

Revised herd classifications expand the PRRS road map

The system used to classify breeding herds according to their PRRSV status has long helped swine veterinarians around the world to track the pathogen’s progress.

Internal biosecurity essential to endemic disease control on pig farms

Establishing effective internal biosecurity protocols is critical to breaking the circular spread of influenza and other pathogens between sow farms and growing sites, according to Montserrat...

Performance — not serology or PCR — is best indicator of modified-live PRRS vaccine efficacy

TOOLBOX, Issue 24: Noel Garbes DVM, senior technical services veterinarian, Zoetis, recently talked with editors of Pig Health Today about measuring modified-live PRRS vaccine efficacy.

Combat seasonal infertility with strong husbandry

Seasonal infertility continues to be a widespread problem for sow herds across the US. And if you don’t have a problem with seasonal infertility, it may mean you are not recognizing it.

Rethinking colostrum management and piglet survivability

Colostrum is vital to piglet survival but managing intake may benefit from some fresh thinking, according to Kara Stewart, associate professor of animal science at Purdue University.

Connor: Innovation driven by necessity and opportunity

The pork industry has had a tremendous number of innovations over the years, said Joe Connor, DVM. Connor, who serves as a consultant within Carthage Veterinary Services, is a pioneer in pig...

Sow mortality trends: Experts dissect the current state of affairs

Keeping sow mortality rates in check is critical to a farm’s productivity and cost structure. Yet in recent years, the US pork industry has seen sow mortality rise.

Novel machine-learning tool can predict PRRSV outbreaks and biosecurity effectiveness

In spite of advanced biosecurity protocols, the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) continues to plague global pork producers with unpredictable, seasonal outbreaks.

More accurate gilt testing needed to detect Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

Sow herds seeking negative M. hyo status should use accurate gilt surveillance methods.

High prevalence of PCV2 recombinants highlights importance of broad vaccine coverage

DISCOVERIES, Issue 21: A recent analysis of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) genetic sequences shows that up to 25% of field strains are recombinants of diverse genotypes, highlighting the importance...

Measuring the direct and indirect costs of sow mortality

When breeding animals die, are culled prematurely, or need to be humanely euthanized, there are direct costs involved with the outcome, but the indirect costs are less obvious.

Gilt selection: Too often overlooked in the sow mortality equation

One way to advance sow productivity and longevity is to select the right replacement-gilt candidates and prepare them properly for the job ahead.

Caregivers play a leading role in individual sow care and longevity

Caregiver management and training are top priorities on swine farms as productivity hinges on the outcome. Yet few things are more challenging.

Swine experts discuss sow-care challenges, solutions and future needs

The sow herd is the engine that drives a hog farm’s downstream productivity. But since the 1990s, sow mortality has been on the rise across the country.

Sow mortality records need an overhaul

The upward trendline of sow mortality needs to be addressed. But until farms have a clearer understanding of why a gilt or sow leaves the breeding herd, progress will be limited.

Highlights of flu-management strategies meeting now available

A special report from Pig Health Today, “Integrated Flu Management: New Strategies for Control,” reports on key presentations by experts in influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) and features...

Rate of PCV2 recombination not widely recognized

TOOLBOX, Issue 16: An interview with Meggan Bandrick, DVM, PhD Associate Director, Global Biologics Research, Zoetis

Why monitor swine herds for PCV2?

TOOLBOX, Issue 23: Noel Garbes DVM, senior technical services veterinarian, Zoetis, recently talked with editors of Pig Health Today about monitoring swine herds for PCV2.

Developing data-driven biosecurity programs

Pablo Moreno, DVM, Swine Veterinary and Production International Service LLC, recently spoke with Pig Health Today about implementing best biosecurity practices.

Rapid scours diagnosis key to limiting piglet mortality

Prevention, early identification and immediate initiation of supportive care and treatment of neonatal scours are critical, says Deb Murray, DVM, veterinary services manager for New Fashion Pork.

Swine disease-outbreak investigations identify hazards and on-farm risk events

Biosecurity has become the all-inclusive protector of swine herd health. But even with all the biosecurity research, protocols and training, disease outbreaks occur regularly. Why is that?

Connor: Cautious optimism in future management of ASF

African swine fever (ASF) has continued its steady, insidious spread in other parts of the world, but the fact that the US has remained free of the virus to-date has given veterinarians a window of...

SRD pathogens remain highly susceptible to key antimicrobials

DISCOVERIES, Issue 25: Pathogens commonly associated with swine respiratory disease (SRD) remain highly susceptible to key veterinary antimicrobials,

Gut microorganisms linked to PRRS vaccination success

Scientists have found that tiny microorganisms in the gut may help improve outcomes for pigs vaccinated against PRRSV in the face of viral respiratory challenge, suggesting a role for the microbiome...

Controlled exposure to M. hyo is valuable tool for eliminating the pathogen

By Amy Maschhoff, DVM, The Maschhoffs, LLC

Not making biosecurity improvements can cost more than making them

Biosecurity ranks high on the list of concerns for swine veterinarians who want hog units tightened up to reduce disease. But the cost of new improvements can be overwhelming.

Virus persistence challenges PRRS management strategies

Eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from pigs might not yet be possible, but monitoring tools could help refine a herd's PRRSV stability.

One year later: How the US pork industry dealt with the COVID-19 crisis

The pork industry entered one of its darkest periods in spring 2020 when COVID-19 forced the shutdown of several plants. Paul Yeske, DVM, helped hog producers in his area work through the closures.

New PRRS 1-4-4 L1C variant presents dramatic symptoms, quick spread

A new variant of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus 1-4-4 L1C strain is challenging veterinarians, diagnosticians and swine herds in the upper Midwest.

Techniques to curtail rising sow-lameness problems

Sow-lameness issues are on the rise, especially for sows in group housing, according to Michael Pierdon, VMD, Four Star Veterinary Service.

Better manage your sow herd with uniform body-condition technique

Feed budgets are based on sow condition and if the herd isn’t uniform, it can lead to higher feed costs.

Mycoplasma elimination versus control: What course is best for your farm?

TOOLBOX, Issue 22: David A. Baumert, DVM, Senior Area Veterinarian, Pork Technical Services, Zoetis, recently talked with editors of Pig Health Today about Mycoplasma elimination vs control.

Virulent PRRS outbreaks in grow-finish require fast action to cut losses

A particularly difficult variant of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus recently hit hog farms in south-central Minnesota.

Highly infectious PRRS variant causes high mortalities on sow farms

A variant of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus is taking a heavy toll on hog farms in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

What’s in a name? Understanding how flu viruses are identified can help fine-tune swine vaccine strategies

By Micah Jansen, DVM, Veterinary Manager, US Pork, Zoetis

Forecasting swine disease outbreaks

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have been working on a predictive model to forecast when a disease outbreak may occur on a farm.

Johnson: Batch farrowing shows benefits

Disease challenges eat into time and profits, and are all too common on US pig farms. That is one reason some producers are switching to batch farrowing as a way to break the disease cycle.

Scientific foundation explains efficacy of Excede® for Swine against SRD pathogens

DISCOVERIES, Issue 22: A robust body of research explains the efficacy of Excede® for Swine (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) against four of the bacterial pathogens associated with swine...

Individual sow care offers benefits throughout the farm

Pig health and performance begin with the sow, which is why it’s critical for caregivers and production managers to evaluate each sow’s health, body condition, comfort, behavior and well-being as...

How to tackle mortality-causing lameness in finishing hogs

Lameness is now the leading cause of mortality in mid- to late-finishing pigs. How did lameness develop into such a big problem?

Don’t forget the sow in post-farrowing management plans

The first several hours post-farrowing is a critical time not just for newborn piglets but also for the sow.

Pigs with APP have less mortality, fewer lung lesions after treatment with Excede® for Swine compared to enrofloxacin

DISCOVERIES, Issue 20: Pigs with swine respiratory disease due to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae were treated with Excede® for Swine (ceftiofur crystallinefree acid) or enrofloxacin in a...

Reducing PRRS outbreaks by using air filtration: What you need to know

Jeff Feder, DVM, with Swine Vet Center, has spent 15 years fine-tuning filtration systems in client hog barns. Today, Feder has records to prove air filtration does reduce outbreaks of disease like...

Imported feed ingredients: Supplier’s sourcing, biosecurity, shipping vital to product integrity, safety

Kevin Eggers, DVM, technical services veterinarian at Zoetis, talked with editors of Pig Health Today about African swine fever (ASF) and the possible risks of importing the virus through feed...

Herd-status classification is first step to Mycoplasma control

By Lucina Galina Pantoja, DVM, PhD, Director, US Pork Technical Services, Zoetis

Segalés: PCV2 and control measures continue to evolve

The development of vaccinations against porcine circovirus 2-systemic disease was a huge step in helping producers control one of the most economically important viruses in swine production.

Negotiating extra label drug use rules

TOOLBOX, Issue 21: Rick Swalla, DVM, recently talked with editors of Pig Health Today about regulations concerning extra label drug use.

Mix it up: Resuspension times for injectable antibiotics can vary widely

DISCOVERIES, Issue 24: An analysis of three similar injectable antibiotics used for swine respiratory disease pathogens demonstrates that resuspension times can differ substantially.

SPECIAL REPORT – Swine Influenza: New control approaches for an evolving virus

Influenza is a genetically diverse, rapidly changing virus that creates challenges for pork producers and veterinarians.

Torremorell: Proven benefits of influenza vaccination

US producers and veterinarians have seen an influx of different types of influenza viruses in the last 10 to 15 years, and that is a major reason why influenza is more difficult to control.

Parasites persist in hog production, especially in niche markets

Environmentally controlled hog facilities eliminated most swine parasites. But Ascaris suum (roundworm) continues to persevere on some conventional farms and frequently on farms for niche markets....

Water: An often-overlooked factor in pig health

Water doesn’t get the attention it deserves because it is abundant, easy to access and inexpensive, but that will change in the future, said John Patience, PhD, professor at Iowa State University.

Ct values predict PRRS nursery mortality, can guide vaccination decisions

DISCOVERIES, Issue 18: Obtaining cycle threshold (Ct) values based on processing fluids provides a practical way to identify neonatal pigs at risk for nursery mortality associated with PRRS and can...

Deen: Batch farrowing requires ‘different mindset’

It appears batch farrowing is making a comeback, according to John Deen, DVM, PhD, distinguished global professor at the University of Minnesota.

Fombelle: Get weaned pigs off to a good start

Getting pigs off to a good start is both an art and science, and even under the best of circumstances it can be challenging. It’s even more difficult this year due to COVID-19.

Ventilation systems need winter check-up to keep pigs healthy

Ventilation systems in hog buildings need regular check-ups to prevent environmental issues that can compromise pig health.

Iowa scientists focused on diagnosing, managing Streptococcus suis in pigs

Multi-disciplinary collaboration by academia, industry partners and the veterinary community is improving the diagnostics for and management of S. suis.

Study demonstrates farm-to-fork benefits of immunological estrus suppression in market gilts

A new study reveals that market gilts grow better and produce more meat that is more palatable to consumers when treated with a vaccine that temporarily delays puberty.

Iowa scientist sees ‘a lot of genetic diversity’ in swine influenza viruses

According to research, swine influenza A viruses have become more complicated in recent years. There is a great deal of diversity within the influenza virus.

From veterinarian to forensic detective: Solving a mysterious swine disease

In fall 2019, a client called Four Star Veterinary Service clinic in Mexico, IN, and reported the loss of a lot of sows. Daniel Gascho, DVM, had several ideas of what could cause the sow mortalities....

How to reduce wean-to-finish mortality: Part 2 — Implement your plans

In Part 2 of this two-part series, Ryan Strobel, DVM, and Chris Sievers, DVM, with the Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota, share implementation strategies to lower wean-to-finish mortality rates.

How to reduce wean-to-finish mortality: Part 1 — Plan your strategies

High wean-to-finish mortality continues to trouble the pork industry. While lowering rates is possible, it’s not easy.

Inadequate iron supplements lead to subclinical anemia in young pigs

A field trial evaluating iron supplementation for baby pigs found the typical 200 mg iron shot at birth is not enough.

Client stress key factor in swine health programs

While their schooling focused on pigs, veterinarians on the job spend a lot of time working with clients and members of their staff.

Three ways to assess your herd’s ‘positive welfare state’

The “Five Freedoms” have been the foundation for establishing sound animal welfare practices since they were developed in 1965. Now, more than 50 years later, researchers have additional tools...

Fostera® PRRS protects against diverse PRRS virus field strains

DISCOVERIES, Issue 19: PRRS has been described as one of the most important swine diseases of the last half-century. An estimated 20% to 25% of herds are still affected, and the syndrome remains the...

Swine veterinarian shares lessons learned from COVID-19 disruptions

Nothing in his lifetime could have prepared Paul Yeske, veterinarian at Swine Vet Center, for the painful fallout from COVID-19 that hit the clinic and its clients.

Pork’s future relies on trust throughout the pork value chain

In the end, raising hogs is about producing pork, and continuous success depends on building customers’ trust, listening to expectations and meeting their needs.

Genetic diversity makes swine influenza a challenge for producers

Influenza A virus in swine is one of the primary respiratory pathogens challenging swine production systems in the US and around the world.

Raising pigs without antibiotics offers niche market but with limitations

Markets for pork produced without antibiotics continue to grow. But this method of production is not for every farm.

Decontamination protocols fail to disinfect incoming hog supplies

Biosecurity protocols are critical to keeping the US hog herd healthy, and one of the regular tasks is to disinfect a wide range of supplies entering the farm, but how effective are those protocols?

Tackle post-weaning E. coli issues with aggressive cleaning, vaccination

By Ryan Strobel, DVM, Swine Vet Center

Zoetis releases update of M. Hyo Manual

Zoetis has released an update of the comprehensive manual, “A Contemporary Review of Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae Control Strategies,” with 14 articles developed by swine-disease experts...

What they don’t tell you in veterinary school: Take care of yourself

A romanticized view of the veterinary profession, gleaned from sources like the famous Brit, James Herriot’s novel “All Creatures Great and Small,” doesn’t always mesh with the reality.

Neonatal pigs with low levels of viremia may benefit from PRRS vaccination

TOOLBOX, Issue 19: An interview with Jose Angulo, DVM, PRRS Specialist, Managing Veterinarian, Zoetis 

COVID-19 lesson for hog farms: Tighten up basic biosecurity

The COVID-19 outbreak reinforces what veterinarians and pork producers already know — biosecurity protocols control disease.

Clayton Johnson receives Leman Science in Practice award

Swine veterinarian Clayton Johnson, DVM, has been awarded the 2020 Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award.

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 4: Leman Swine Conference

The 2020 virtual Leman SwineConference is underway. Our editors are covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2019 coverage.

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 3: Leman Swine Conference

The 2020 virtual Leman SwineConference is underway. Our editors are covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2019 coverage.

Pork industry makes progress on pain management

Pain management for pigs has always been a challenge, partly because it’s difficult to measure levels of pain and partly because there are no FDA-approved drugs labeled for pain management in pigs.

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 2: Leman Swine Conference

The 2020 virtual Leman SwineConference is underway. Our editors are covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2019 coverage.

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 1: Leman Swine Conference

The 2020 virtual Leman SwineConference is underway. Our editors are covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2019 coverage.

Veterinarians answer questions on influenza

With influenza A virus (IAV-S) in swine continuing to cause performance losses on US pig farms, veterinarians have taken up the mantle to find solutions.

Can the processing-fluid toolbox expand beyond PRRS?

Piglet processing fluids have been shown to be a practical, time-efficient and affordable diagnostic tool for PRRS, and some indications suggest that PCV2 offers promise as well.

Tracheal sampling for M. hyo may hold new benefits

Tracheal sampling is a good way to determine if M. hyo is present in a herd, but it’s an invasive procedure that can be difficult to accomplish.

PRRSV-1 modified-live virus vaccine cross-protects against three major PRRSV subtypes prevalent in Europe

New studies show that a commercial vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) cross-protects against isolates from the three major subtypes of the virus found in Europe.

Today’s forecast: Scattered PRRS outbreaks with isolated sprinkles of PED

Forecasting swine-disease outbreaks might become a lot like predicting the weather as scientists combine monitoring disease data with computer models.

Eisenmenger: Time to invest in market-transport biosecurity

Grow-finish farms are the last segment of hog production to enact strict biosecurity protocols. That needs to change, reports Mike Eisenmenger, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota.

Take a process-driven approach to influenza control

US pork producers should strive to produce influenza-negative pigs if they want to see the benefits of increased productivity, reduced secondary infections and antibiotic use, reduced influenza...

Committing time, attention to pig’s first 24 hours key to health, uniformity

The farrowing room is a demanding place — one that needs to accommodate the divergent needs of a 500+-pound sow and her 10, 15 or 20 piglets weighing anywhere from 1.5 to 3 pounds.

COVID-19 impact on swine industry headlines 2020 virtual Leman Conference

COVID-19’s global-altering tentacles reached the 2020 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference scheduled Sept. 19-22. This year’s conference will be held virtually.

Veterinarians serve as biosecurity champions

Taking care of sick animals is no fun for anybody. For that reason, and so many more, biosecurity is a high priority for Clayton Johnson, DVM, with Carthage Veterinary Service headquartered in...

Researchers ‘look beyond the normal’ to identify emerging disease

The first case of Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus (Strep. zoo) was identified in the US pig population last fall, and it’s not an organism to be taken lightly.

New approaches to influenza control look promising

Influenza-A virus of swine (IAV-S) is a thorn in the side of US pork producers, and it’s a difficult thorn to remove. If the virus were more pathogenic, veterinarians and producers would probably...

‘Controlled colonization’ builds immune response to bacterial pathogens

Bacterial pathogens like Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis continue to cause major issues for growing and adult pigs. Dr. Brad Leuwerke offers some good solutions.

Addressing ‘unknown factors’ in sow mortality

Sow mortality has been on the rise in the US pork industry, reaching upwards of 15% in many sow-production systems, said Ashley Johnson, DVM, technical services veterinarian with Zoetis.

Feed mitigants offer positive production and virus protection results

For the past 18 months Scott Dee, DVM, director of research at Pipestone Veterinary Services, has been investigating whether feed mitigants can protect against the transmission of certain swine...

Swine Health Information Center: Preparing for emerging diseases

Whether the issue is an emerging disease such as porcine epidemic diarrhea or the threat of African swine fever, being prepared is key to minimizing the potential impact on the US swine herd and...

Veterinarians, mind your mental health

Veterinarians deal with stress under the best circumstances. But in this time of difficult decisions for pork producers and those who service them due to COVID-19, maintaining mental health is even...

Tools for managing pigs without antibiotics

Raising pigs without antibiotics requires extra management and different tools compared to traditional commercial hog production.

Data show filtered farms break less often with PRRS

Nine years of data from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project show farms with air-filtering systems have fewer outbreaks of PRRS than farms without filters.

Maintaining welfare standards in the face of a pandemic

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd.

Resurgent Mycoplasma hyorhinis causes debilitating arthritis in late finishing

Infectious arthritis caused by Mycoplasma hyorhinis is gaining ground in hog units where it infects neonatal pigs and develops into severe lameness in market hogs.

Pen-side diagnostic comparisons for nursed-off sows and fallback pigs

For both the sow and piglet, an animal that does not perform to its potential or falls behind its counterparts will negatively impact the sow farm’s productivity and profitability.

Vaccine trial data versus lineage: What’s the best way to predict PRRS vaccine performance?

TOOLBOX, Issue 20: An interview with Eva Jablonski, DVM, PRRS Specialist, Senior Technical Services Veterinarian, Zoetis

Antimicrobial resistance causing few clinical problems in swine

Clinical problems in swine due to antimicrobial-resistant infections are rare. In fact, patterns of resistance in swine have been stable for a long time.

Cutting your losses: When to treat and when to euthanize

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd.

What we learned from PED applies to COVID-19

Swine veterinarians and producers may feel déjà vu when they hear about the COVID-19 epidemic in the US.

Managing pig flows when harvest capacity is restricted

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd

Comparing diagnostic sampling prospects from M. hyo-positive-source boar studs

Many sow farms have undergone M. hyo elimination within their breeding herd, which makes it critical to understand the potential transmission risk from boar studs.

Managing MLV PRRS vaccines for optimum performance and returns

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd.

Watch your Strep: Keep your guard up for this evolving bacterium

Few things remain the same for long on a hog farm. By the very nature of today’s production system, pigs are continuously moving on or off a site. One thing that remains constant is Strep suis.

Inadequate iron supplements cause subclinical anemia in weaned pigs

The standard 200 mg iron shot for baby pigs at processing may not be enough iron to last until weaning.

Finding opportunities to improve pig health during these challenging times

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service

Processing fluids provide an option to monitor PCV2 and PCVAD

Effective PCV2 control relies on vaccination of healthy pigs before they become infected. This goal cannot be accomplished in unstable herds whose sows give birth to viremic pigs.

Comparing PCV2 gilt vaccination protocols and progeny status

Porcine circovirus type 2 is the principal etiological agent of porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD), which can cost producers an estimated $3 to $4 per pig.

Free booklet offers insights on responsible, effective antimicrobial use in swine

Antibiotics remain essential tools for maintaining high levels of herd health and welfare, but veterinarians and producers must use them responsibly.

Automatic foggers fall short in disinfecting hog-farm supplies

Preventing fomites from carrying pathogens into hog farms is a daily biosecurity priority, but how effective are typical disinfection protocols?

Gebhart: Cracking the Strep suis code

Streptococcus suis (Strep suis) is becoming more prevalent and more complex in US swine herds. The coccoid-shaped, Gram-positive bacterium is also a zoonotic disease, capable of transmission from...

Moving pig health to the back burner — if only for a moment

By Larry Rueff, DVM, Swine Vet Services, Greensburg, Indiana

Rotavirus infections lower weaned-pig weights by a pound

Rotavirus infections in pigs have been around for decades. But in the last several years, the virus has re-appeared, causing diarrhea in neonatal and post-weaned pigs that impedes their growth for...

Chimera technology offers better path to protection for PCV2

DISCOVERIES, Issue 6: When PCV2 first became a problem in US swine herds, scientists looked at taking the immunogenic capsid gene from PCV2 and cloning it into the backbone of nonpathogenic PCV type...

Study compares PRRSV antibody-sampling options for sows

When it comes to porcine reproductive and respiratory virus it’s important for the veterinarian and farm personnel to know the health status of a herd or barn.

Batch farrowing makes a comeback on small- to medium-sized sow farms

The practice of farrowing sows in groups and not continuously is making a reappearance as small- to medium-sized sow farms seek ways to stay competitive.

Minimal evidence of antibiotic resistance in swine

Data indicate minimal resistant infections in swine, but that will not deter efforts to maximize preventive care and minimize the need for antibiotics.

German researchers: Pigs, poultry not susceptible to COVID-19

Scientists in Germany have confirmed that pigs and chickens are not susceptible to COVID-19.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: New strategies for an old ‘bug’

Managing Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) is nothing new for US pig veterinarians and producers, but there are a number of new tools available to deal with the bacterium.

How stress hammers a pig’s intestinal system

Experts say some forms of sustained stress can weaken a pig’s immune system and make it more vulnerable to disease and performance losses.

Chronic PED cases linger, setting the stage for elimination

The wild run of porcine epidemic diarrhea striking the pork industry in 2013 has slowed substantially, but chronic versions continue to plague some farms.

Five ways to maintain pig growth in summer without ractopamine

The summer months can be difficult for pigs — and producers. Pigs typically don’t grow as fast and feed efficiency often takes a hit. Much of the downturn is linked to heat stress, which costs US...

Diagnostic experts: PCV3 is common in US swine herds

PCV3 was first reported in 2016, but appears to have been present in swine populations decades prior to that time. PCV3 strains are similar to one another but are very different from PCV2.

Moving parts: Integrated, holistic approach needed for effective mycoplasma control

Renewed interest in M. hyo and its impact on herd health and performance has prompted producers and veterinarians to re-evaluate control strategies for the costly bacterial disease.

Deadly swine-disease outbreak at buying station triggers search for mystery pathogen

When a call came in last September reporting very high, unexplained sow mortalities, Daniel Gascho, DVM, didn’t expect it to be anything unusual, but he found quite the opposite.

Swine dysentery makes an unwelcome comeback

Just when US pork producers thought swine dysentery was a problem of the past, it has re-emerged for an unwelcome encore in a slightly different form.

Grow-finish mortalities require fast action followed by prevention plan

Nothing grabs the attention of a grow-finish unit and its veterinarian faster than an uptick in mortalities.

Lessons from the barn: Avoiding gremlins

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Illinois

Tips for transitioning to ractopamine-free hog feed

TOOLBOX, Issue 18: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 4: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2020 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting is underway in Atlanta. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 3: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2020 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting is underway in Atlanta. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 2: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2020 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting is underway in Atlanta. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 1: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2020 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting begins today in Atlanta. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at...

Prepare for African swine fever outbreak with Secure Pork Supply plan

A growing threat of African swine fever (ASF) has convinced US pork producers to prepare for the worst with a Secure Pork Supply plan.

Moving biosecurity from the farm to the feed mill

An effective biosecurity strategy is not a stagnant process. It is continuously influenced by changes in pig-flows, disease pressures, virus evolution, emerging health issues and more.

Do’s and don’ts of cephalosporin use in swine

TOOLBOX, Issue 15: An interview with John W. Hallberg, DVM, PhD, Director, US Regulatory Affairs, Zoetis 

MetaStim®: The best balance of humoral, cellular immunity

TOOLBOX, Issue 17: An interview with Dennis Foss, DVM, PhD, Research Director, Zoetis Global Biologicals Swine

Ellis: No magic bullet to reduce pre-wean mortality

Pre-wean mortality has increased over the last 15 years, and it’s a major concern for US pork producers and veterinarians.

8 key factors drive success when raising pigs without antibiotics

Producers need to recognize there will always be health challenges when raising pigs without antibiotics. The goal is to resolve those challenges as they arise.

Outmaneuvering PRRSV requires a better understanding of genetic diversity

PRRSV is constantly evolving, resulting in an extremely diverse virus with multiple lineages, but building a better understanding of that genetic diversity is the next step to making real progress...

Deen: Apply old lessons to new technologies

Classical education emphasizes the need for industries to adopt new technologies to keep up with external demands and constantly changing economic environments.

Pollmann: Make the most of your human capital

The US pork industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, with enough variables to make even astute, savvy businesspeople cautious. However, one of the biggest components of a successful,...

Connor: Disease elimination can lower the cost of production

US producers have robust export markets and a lower cost of production than many other countries, but Joe Connor, DVM, says cost of production could be even lower.

Tips to improve pen gestation for sows

Many pork producers successfully manage sows in group gestation pens after completing breeding and pregnancy checks in crates. Here are suggestions to help maximize sow productivity in pen gestation.

Lowering pre-wean mortality starts at day 1

Pre-wean mortality continues to be a challenge to producers across the industry as genetic improvements allow sows to be more prolific and achieve higher total born.

Michigan switches to pen gestation; Ohio is next

Hog operations in Michigan faced an April 1, 2020, deadline for switching from individual stalls to pens for sow gestation.

Lessons learned: How a modern hog farm in Russia recovered from ASF

China’s African swine fever epidemic may offer a grim view of life with the disease. But its neighbor Russia has proven recovery from ASF is possible.

New Individual Sow Care program from Zoetis aims to reduce losses, optimize performance and well-being

Looking to help the U.S. pork industry raise the bar for performance and reverse the surge in sow mortality rates, Zoetis has introduced Individual Sow Care.

Special Report: What’s behind the surge in sow mortality?

Sow mortality rates in the US have increased dramatically in recent years and now average about 15%. Pig Health Today talked with six experts about the alarming trend and, most important, what...

Pig Health Today launches Zoetis News Center

Pig Health Today has introduced the Zoetis News Center — a special section of the popular news website that features insights from Zoetis’ pig-health experts, plus updates on company-sponsored...

Veterinarian says VFD led to more strategic antibiotic use

The Food and Drug Administration’s revised rules for antibiotic use in hogs, including the VFD, has led to a reduction in and more strategic use of antibiotics in swine.

Strategies to move more pigs from birth to harvest

Litter sizes on US hog farms have steadily increased, but that’s a good-news/bad-news development as those large litters often come at a price, which is more low-birthweight piglets.

PCV3 is ‘absolutely’ a pathogen but proceed with caution

Porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3) is “absolutely” a pathogen but merely finding the virus isn’t enough to conclude it’s the cause of disease.

Comprehensive, data-driven approach to lower wean-finish mortality

Identifying the source of wean-to-finish mortality can be a challenge, since factors affecting that stage of production may have originated earlier — on the sow farm, in the farrowing barn or at...

Maintain mycoplasma-negative herds with laryngeal swab tests from incoming gilts

Sow farms that have eradicated M. hyo must continue surveillance to keep the pathogen out or the results will be devastating.

No. 1 biosecurity lesson: Never stop improving

The first lesson of biosecurity, according to Andrea Pitkin, DVM, health assurance veterinarian for PIC, is to learn, modify and adapt because new threats can surface at any time.

The Maschhoffs combine technology and coaching to build a biosecurity culture

Biosecurity on hog farms is serious business, and it’s no secret that success hinges on how well protocols are carried out. For years, emphasis has been on building a “biosecurity culture,” and...

PRRSV vaccine produces robust and lasting immune response when given to day-old piglets

A new study shows that piglets can mount a strong, specific and lasting immune response to PRRSV when vaccinated at 1 day of age.

Fogging helps establish Day 0 for M. hyo elimination

Maintaining a healthy herd takes time, energy and constant emphasis on biosecurity, Amy Maschhoff, DVM, told Pig Health Today.

Special Report: What’s behind the surge in sow mortality?

Researchers tackle survivability issues head-on

One in three pigs born on US farms fail to reach market, according to Jason Ross, PhD, a professor of animal physiology at Iowa State University and director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center.

Mycoplasma elimination possible, but more difficult on farrow-to-finish sites

With the right program in place, eliminating mycoplasma pneumonia is possible on many hog farms.

Larger litters, more competition for colostrum make pigs more susceptible to clostridial enteritis

By Daniel A. Nelson, PhD, Senior nutritionist, pork technical services, Zoetis

Hit delete: Vet says you don’t have to live with mycoplasma

M. hyo is a bacterium that US producers don’t have to live with. Elimination can be successful and cost-effective.

Sow pads show promise for reducing shoulder sores, related infections

During farrowing and lactation, sows can easily develop shoulder sores, which in turn become infected.  Could a little padding help?   

ASF protein discovery offers vaccine development potential

Scientists have identified specific proteins in the African swine fever virus (ASF) that could pave the way for development of a vaccine against the deadly disease.

Pigs fed BMD® gain more weight faster despite stress in controlled studies

DISCOVERIES, Issue 15: Grower pigs fed BMD® gained weight faster and had better feed efficiency compared to controls despite exposure to commonly encountered production stressors, studies show.

Reading pigs’ emotions could speed up disease treatments

Technology which can detect emotion on pigs’ faces could help farmers identify and treat sick animals before illnesses really take hold.

Population-based diagnostics pinpoint the power in numbers

The world of diagnostics is expanding. Instead of focusing on individual animals, population-based diagnostics help veterinarians and producers identify the health status of their barns more quickly...

Biosecurity: A practical approach

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd.. Carthage, Illinois

Foreign animal diseases and the line of last resort

By Larry Rueff, DVM, Swine Veterinary Services, Greensburg, Indiana

Medicating mothers could help limit piglet pain

Administering medicine through nursing sows could help improve piglet welfare by limiting the pain they feel during procedures such as teeth clipping and tail docking.

Researchers expand understanding of virus transmission in feed

As African swine fever virus continues to march across the globe, the US pork sector is laser focused on keeping it from reaching the homeland.

Is fogging an M. hyo-elimination option for your swine herd?

Paul Yeske, DVM, with the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn., has seen repeatable success with M. hyo elimination, along with the downstream effect of lower cost of production, better average daily...

Feed, water, air and comfort: Keys to prevent tail biting

Tail biting in pigs remains something of a mystery. What triggers a pig or pigs to bite tails? Why do some express this vice and others do not?

It’s back: Clinical outbreak of PCV2 in genetic herds reported

A clinical outbreak of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) occurred this past winter in otherwise healthy, well-vaccinated herds, Clayton Johnson, DVM, of Carthage Veterinary Service, told Pig Health...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 4: Leman Swine Conference

The 2019 Leman Swine Conference is under way in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2018 coverage.

Processing fluids’ effectiveness in monitoring PCV2 in sow herds

Vaccines have provided effective control options for PCV2, but vertical transmission remains a challenge for some farms.

Steps to mitigate cross-contamination of piglet processing fluids with PRRS MLV

As piglets move from the sow farm to the growing stage, it’s important to know their porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) status.

Survey says: RWA production adversely affects pig health and welfare

Swine producers and veterinarians responding to a national survey said pressure to maintain the raised without antibiotics (RWA) label sometimes compromises animal health and welfare.

Carthage swine veterinarian: Focus on individual pig care can benefit entire production system

Taking care of every single pig seems like a daunting task when producers have hundreds or thousands of pigs under their care. Still, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Pipestone nutritionist highlights advancements to improve pig health

Producers know if a pig has good gut health in the nursery, it’s more likely to get off to a good start in the grow-finish barn. But with increased pressure on antibiotic use, nutritionists are...

Phase I of pelvic organ prolapse study offers new insights

A pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a dramatic, easy-to-identify event within the farrowing room. The difficult part is figuring out the cause and applying a solution.

On the road again? Be careful not to pig out

Swine veterinarians putting in long days on the road caring for pigs should be just as cognizant of their own health and nutritional needs.

Smithfield veterinarian aims to connect dots on animal welfare

For Mary Battrell, DVM, a swine veterinarian for Smithfield Foods, animal welfare is the connection between animal health, well-being and performance; and optimizing that connection improves...

High health herd helps Finnish producers tackle tail biting challenge

Focusing on running high-health herds and lowering stress levels is helping hog farmers in Finland prevent tail biting in non-docked pigs.

Positive interactions with sows reduce piglet crushing

Encouraging staff to have more direct involvement with managing and handling sows can have positive impacts on herd welfare and mortality rates, say scientists.

Impact of control options for Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis

Helping piglets make a smooth transition at weaning is always a priority, but bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis can make that goal particularly challenging.

Debriefing: Retrospective on the VFD experience

By Clayton Johnson, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Integrated Veterinary Network

Processing fluids hold promise for PCV2 testing on sow farms

Understanding the pathogen status of a sow herd helps determine the prevention, control and treatment options to protect piglets as they grow. For PCV2 there is no treatment; however, vaccination is...

PRRS in growing pigs linked to sow outbreaks

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in growing pigs may play an important role in PRRS outbreaks among sow herds.

Comprehensive management plan critical to piglet survival

Having a clear plan in place to manage sows and piglets before, during and after farrowing is critical to increasing piglet survival and maintaining sow health.

Does PRRS influence weaned pigs’ nutritional response?

In the past 30 years, the growth and body composition of US market hogs has changed dramatically, but the same cannot be said for dietary vitamin and mineral levels.

A simple scoring system can provide insights into tail biting and lameness

Tail biting and lameness directly impact the well-being of growing pigs, which in turn impacts their productivity and the farm’s economics.

Resurgence of ‘old’ bacterial diseases in pigs: Why?

Three bacterial diseases considered under control recently flared up creating new challenges in hog operations. The older diseases include Haemophilus parasuis (parasuis), Streptococcus suis (strep)...

Know the feed risk factors for African swine fever

As African swine fever (ASF) continues its insidious spread through China and surrounding countries, the need to keep it out of US herds becomes more imperative.

Aureomycin® granular premix retained higher potency than Terramycin® meal premix in study

DISCOVERIES, Issue 2: The particle size and distribution of a medicated-feed premix can dramatically affect how much active ingredient ends up in a pig’s digestive tract for disease treatment or...

National ASF-surveillance plan: What you need to know

The pork industry leans heavily on diagnostics to minimize the impact of disease, but they’re especially critical for monitoring African swine fever (ASF) and other trade-limiting foreign animal...

African swine fever, Strep suis hot topics at 2019 Leman Conference

The threat of African swine fever and its impact on the global protein market will be among several keynote lectures planned during the upcoming 2019 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul,...

Connor: ASF fears prompting broader view of biosecurity

Maintaining good biosecurity has long been key to advancing the health, well-being and productivity of hog farms, but the threat of African swine fever has raised the bar and prompted veterinarians...

Adequate gilt acclimation helps minimize the PRRSV ‘tax’

By Clayton Johnson, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Integrated Veterinary Network

Summer Solstice Special: Managing Heat Stress in Pigs

Behold the Summer Solstice, a good time to think about the hot, steamy days ahead and how they'll affect swine health, welfare and performance. Pig Health Today talked with experts about helping pigs...

Davies: Focus on optimizing antibiotic use, not volume

The US pork industry has a good track record for using antibiotics responsibly, but how should it be graded for its efforts?  By volume?  Types of antibiotics used?  Resistance trends? 

Ractopamine has little influence on iodine value in pig fat carcass

TOOLBOX, Issue 14: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, PAS, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

Optimizing nutrition key to unlocking full benefits of immunocastration

An alternative technique to physical castration could offer US hog producers a host of financial and management benefits.

On the road again? Don’t forget Pig Health Today podcasts

Most of Pig Health Today’s video interviews with leading health experts and other opinion leaders can be downloaded as podcasts and listened to on mobile devices or through audio systems of most...

Five challenges facing swine veterinarians — and how to address them

Today’s swine veterinarians are great multitaskers by necessity, said Deborah Murray, DVM, veterinary services manager, with New Fashion Pork, Jackson, Minnesota, at the 2019 AASV meeting.

SPECIAL REPORT: Thanks for the memories: Highlights from our 2018 World Pork Expo coverage

Like the rest of the industry, we miss being in Des Moines this week for World Pork Expo. Here are a few highlights from Pig Health Today's 2018 coverage -- proof that some stuff never gets old.

Early identification key to managing lameness in sow herds

By Claire LeFevre, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Illinois

Feed-mill biosecurity critical to reducing disease transmission

Feed and feed ingredients are generating a lot of interest as possible vectors in transmitting swine diseases.

Some aspects of Senecavirus A continue to mystify researchers

While the spikes of Senecavirus A have plateaued in recent years, researchers in the pork industry are still confounded by the elusive virus and what triggers outbreaks.

Emerging technologies at AASV: Four new tools to boost efficiency

Between tight margins and constant herd-health challenges, pork producers are always looking for new ways to increase efficiencies and profits while also increasing transparency.

Senecavirus A: Several questions remain unanswered

Senecavirus A (SVA) is detected in a pig’s tonsils about 40 days after infection with the virus — a finding that raises some interesting questions.

Emerging technologies at AASV: Three cool tools headed to hog farms

The so-called Internet of Things — that emerging world in which everyday tools like thermostats and doorbells suddenly become indispensable smart devices — is not lost on the pork industry.

Picking your battles is key to biosecurity success

Biosecurity is one of those on-farm topics that gets a lot of time and attention, but it can easily fall apart in the day-to-day reality of managing pigs.

Simpler, less costly monitoring methods helping pork industry get a better read on PRRS

Newer testing methods for the PRRS virus are not only simpler and less costly than traditional procedures, they are also helping farms more accurately track the virus through different production...

What to do when emotions run high in a disease break

Any way you look at it, going through a disease break on a farm is difficult. “The pigs are easy; it’s the people that make things difficult.”

Reducing stress can aid pig health, performance

Pigs can get stressed, just like people, and the impact can be just as serious.

Perineal scoring first clue to pelvic-organ prolapse in sow-mortality project

A large research project involving 104 US sow farms and 400,000 sows is expected to identify factors related to the recent increase in sow mortalities caused by pelvic-organ prolapses.

Good hygiene key to health and performance in fattening units, scientists find

Investing in biosecurity in fattening units could see Europe’s pig sector increase its earnings by billions of Euros a year thanks to improved pig health and growth rates.

Why do summer PRRS breaks last longer than winter breaks?

Summer outbreaks of PRRS take 15 weeks longer to stabilize than PRRS outbreaks beginning in the winter, according to data from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project (MSHMP).

Estrus suppression boosts gilt welfare, productivity in Canada

Delaying sexual maturity in gilts is helping pig producers in Canada streamline their production systems while improving carcass quality and animal welfare.

The changing face of PCV: Virus experts compare notes on evolving pathogen in US swine herds

Clinical disease due to porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) has been dramatically reduced thanks to vaccination, but concern remains about the persistence of PCV2 subclinical infection, even in...

What’s your ‘risk attitude’? The role of human behavior in biosecurity

How human behavior impacts biosecurity decisions is a new frontier that’s critical to producers.

AVMA releases first-ever guidelines for depopulation of animals

The AVMA has published its first ever Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals to help veterinarians support animal welfare in situations where the difficult decision to depopulate has been made.

Multiple infections? It’s important to get to the root cause

Disease management can be challenging. You have a list of possible causes, but unless you get to the root cause, those symptoms are likely to recur.

Why did sow-mortality rates jump to 15%?

The spike in sow-mortality rates over the past decade has prompted the US pork industry to hunt for answers.

Secure Pork Supply plan updated to meet changing FAD needs

With African swine fever (ASF) well established in China and parts of Europe, US pork producers need to take steps now to protect their interests in the face of an outbreak.

Dee: Mitigants combined with extended storage time help guard against virus transmission

Feed additives that mitigate viruses, combined with extended storage times, could help protect the US pork industry from African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases.

Castration alternative offers faster growth, more quality meat in study

A novel castration alternative allows male pigs to grow faster and produce more high-quality meat than physically castrated or entire hogs, a new analysis shows.

Understanding feed flow, biosecurity critical in ASF battle

The US pork industry is nervous about African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases entering the country — and for good reason.

Action plan, training keys to humane euthanasia of pigs

A critical part of humane animal care on pig farms is responsible and timely euthanasia. However, identifying individuals for the job, training them and having a plan to carry out the process can...

Inflammation, stress put pressure on sow longevity

In recent years, producers have focused on pigs per sow per year and number of pigs weaned to maximize profits, but increased litter size puts pressure on sow longevity.

USDA expands ASF awareness tools to keep the virus out of the US

USDA has committed new resources to raising the awareness of African swine fever (ASF) and the importance of keeping the virus from entering the US.

Are you giving M. hyo the attention it deserves?

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) isn’t a new problem in the pork industry. I’s been around for years, but that’s exactly the point: Why is the industry still wrestling with it?

PRRS vaccine overcomes maternal immunity in day-old piglets

A new vaccine for PRRS has been shown to overcome maternal immunity in newborn piglets, offering protection from this costly disease from before weaning through slaughter.

Carthage vets focusing on ‘regional’ IAV-S vaccination strategies for breeding herds

As influenza viruses evolve, is there a more effective way to manage vaccinations for influenza A virus in swine?

New technologies may yield new insights on antibiotic use, resistance

The pork industry has a reputation for using antibiotics responsibly, but when the industry looks at antimicrobial use and tries to understand how products either mitigate or promote resistance,...

Mycoplasma control starts with stabilizing sow herd

Economic losses caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae run between $3 to $10 per finishing hog due to reduced pig performance, according to Elise Toohill, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Service.

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 4: Interviews from AASV

The 2019 American Association of Swine Veterinarians conference is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2018...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 2: Interviews from AASV

The 2019 American Association of Swine Veterinarians is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2018 coverage. (Part...

Roundtable: Industry structure, culture, wild boars team up to intensify ASF threat in China

The discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in China’s wild boar population in late 2018 adds a new dimension to the already ominous disease threat — one that could possibly leave the Chinese to...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 1: Interviews from AASV

The 2019 American Association of Swine Veterinarians is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2018 coverage. (Part...

USDA steps up measures to prevent ASF spread to the US

As the spread of African swine fever (ASF) across Asia shows no signs of slowing, US pork producers have watched with a nervous eye toward international commerce and travel.

Australia’s experience with castration alternative should give global confidence, producer says

Australian consumer acceptance of a technology that offers an alternative to physical castration should give more pork producers the confidence to use it, says one of Australia’s leading pork...

Is it time to eliminate PED from US herds?

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Illinois

Webb: FAD outbreak could be financially crippling for US pork industry

A single reported incident of a trade-limiting foreign animal disease (FAD) would devastate the US pork industry, perhaps causing billions of dollars in losses.

Gene editing offers future options to address swine diseases

Whether the focus is human or animal medicine, gene editing has created a buzz today about its potential for addressing numerous health issues.

Animal welfare key to pork producers’ continuous improvement

Animal well-being is not a new concept and has long been a priority on hog farms. “It’s one of the ethical principles within the industry’s We Care initiative,” said Sherry Webb,...

‘One Health’ approach needed to balance antibiotic usage, animal welfare

When it comes to responsible antibiotic management, there are wide-ranging views and interpretations on usage, impact, future direction and even terminology.

FDA’s antibiotic guidance and VFDs continue a smooth transition

It’s fast approaching 2 years since the FDA implemented its revised guidance for antibiotic use in food animals. At the center of the effort is the veterinary feed directive (VFD).

Why sows leave the herd: Biological priorities and productivity

When it comes to sow productivity, culling and mortality issues, “the simple answer is there’s no simple answer,” John Deen, DVM, University of Minnesota swine epidemiologist, told Pig Health...

Keep guard up for strep, parasuis in newly weaned pigs

Newly weaned pigs face many challenges — new environment, feed, pen mates. They also face the challenge of bacterial infections like strep and parasuis, the two most common systemic bacterial...

Strategies to weaken PRRS’ grip on US herds

After more than three decades, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains a serious disease threat to swine units in the US.

Producer priorities drive NPB swine-health research

There’s no shortage of swine-health issues that would benefit from research investment, but when it comes to allocating Pork Checkoff funds, producers make the decisions.

Whole-herd vaccination critical to long-term PRRS management

Vaccinating entire herds against PRRS is crucial to ensuring the virus doesn’t become untreatable in the future, says a UK veterinarian.

New council to direct swine-disease response

For years, the USDA and US pork industry have had plans in place to address a foreign animal disease, but PED and ASF developments raised the priority status to a new level.

Rapid Response Plan offers CSI team for emerging diseases

Determining the cause of a peculiar health condition in pigs is not unlike a crime scene investigation (CSI). The veterinarian, producer and diagnosticians search for clues into what, how and why the...

Tale of two viruses: PCV3 impact unknown while PCV2 continues to evolve

Genetic sequencing demonstrates that porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3) is significantly different from PCV2, but otherwise little is known about the virus.

Special report: FAD outbreak could cost US agriculture $200 billion over 10 years

This is the first in a two-part series on foreign animal diseases. Part 2 looks at what the US pork industry is doing to head off an FAD outbreak and to prepare for one.

How FADs have affected foreign markets

Since the middle of the 20th century, numerous foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreaks involving the pork industry have been recorded throughout the world.

Shifting consumer trends require a more open dialogue

Baby boomers have long dominated the retail marketplace — and they’ve been loyal meat customers. But that dynamic is shifting as millennial and younger shoppers, who are less committed to meat as...

Simple biosecurity measures offer significant production gains, scientists say

Taking simple steps to improve biosecurity and welfare on pig farms can significantly reduce the amount of antimicrobials farmers need to administer, scientists say.

Veterinarian sees changes to three high-risk swine diseases

Three diseases affecting finishing hogs — Senecavirus A, porcine sapelovirus and erysipelas — have undergone changes over the past year that warrant the pork industry’s attention.

BMD®: What is its future in pork production?

TOOLBOX, Issue 5: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, PAS, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

Industry and government must help producers prepare for new German castration ban, pig vet says

With new legislation in Germany banning castration without full anesthesia starting in 2021, the time for producers to make changes is now, a swine veterinarian says.

Managing pain, Strep suis infection in baby pigs critical for welfare

The US pork industry has demonstrated high standards for animal welfare, but there is still much to learn about mitigating pain — not only during processing, but also pain resulting from Strep...

Researchers create algorithm to predict PEDV outbreaks

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an algorithm that could give pig farms advance notice of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreaks.

Finding ‘root of the problem’ key in herds with multiple disease challenges

New diagnostic tools have helped the pork industry get a better handle on disease monitoring, but how do you prioritize when multiple pathogens have infected the herd?

Connor: No clear winner in pen- versus crate-gestation debate

Sow housing during gestation continues to draw debate as some hog operations make a switch from crates to pens for gestation. The results are mixed.

Nerem: Shift focus to responsible antibiotic use, not arbitrary reductions

Some retailers and foodservice companies are asking for animals that have never received antibiotics (“no antibiotics ever” or NAE), but that request fails to recognize that animals — like...

Yeske: Multiple factors contributing to rising sow-mortality rates

The spike in sow-mortality rates in recent years has everyone in the US pork industry searching for answers. Don’t expect any simple solutions, however. 

Veterinarian says both pigs, caregivers suffered in antibiotic-free study

A study looking at how pigs challenged with PRRS performed in an antibiotic-free production setting needed to be stopped for welfare reasons so the pigs could be treated with antibiotics.

Enriching sow environment and diet improves sow welfare, early piglet survival

New research confirms that environmental stress during gestation can influence piglet health and mortality after birth.

Streptococcus suis leads SHIC’s Swine Bacterial Disease Matrix list

Viruses tend to get first priority when it comes to monitoring swine diseases and herd health, but bacteria can wreak just as much havoc.

Tails or testicles: Which are better for PRRSV monitoring?

Pooled serum samples are a common method to monitor PPRSV in piglets. But this typically involves a limited number of samples, which reduces the sensitivity and makes detection especially challenging...

Knock, knock: Swine veterinarian shares experiences from VFD audit

When Peter Schneider, DVM, heard FDA auditors were at the door to see the operation’s VFDs, he remembers feeling a little nervous.

PED — live with it or eliminate it?

The porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus that devastated the US swine industry several years ago continues to persist, causing fewer pig deaths but curtailing pig growth.

Tyson VP: ‘Antibiotic issue is far from black and white’

Producer and consumer choice are equally important when it comes to producing quality pork products — and it’s important not to put limits on either of them, according to Kent Harrison, vice...

Veterinarian: ‘Take PED seriously and get it cleaned up’

After a few years of limited activity, PED remained quiet in southwest Minnesota until last spring, when four sow farms in southwest Minnesota broke with the disease.