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Category Archive: Global TOPICS, News, PGT GLOBAL, PGT US, PRRS, Research, TOPICS

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 Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae 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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

Z-CAS helping feed mills, producers get the most from medicated feed additives

TOOLBOX, Issue 6: An interview with Marc Howerton, Customer Analytical Services Supervisor, Zoetis

Zoetis joins The Sustainability Consortium to lead efforts in sustainable pork together with US pork producers and supply chain leaders

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today that Zoetis, the leading animal health company, has joined TSC to focus on increasing supply chain transparency and sustainability with U.S. pork...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

Segalés: PCV2 and control measures continue to evolve

A member of the family Circoviridae, PCV2 is considered one of the most economically important viral agents in swine worldwide. Good management is essential.

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.

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?

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.

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

Rate of PCV2 recombination not widely recognized

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

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

More accurate gilt testing needed to detect Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

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

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

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

Four Star Veterinary Service Pork Industry Conference postponed until July 21; same place, same speakers

Registration is now open for the 2020 Pork Industry Conference organized by Four Star Veterinary Service, a business with locations in five states and 17 veterinarians focused on pig health.

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 

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.

Aureomix S finding its niche, and then some, in VFD era

TOOLBOX, Issue 4: An interview with Thomas Painter, DVM, US Pork Technical Services, Zoetis

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?   

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

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

Aureomix S provides effective replacement for Mecadox

TOOLBOX, Issue 12: An interview with Thomas Painter, DVM, Senior Technical Service Veterinarian,Zoetis

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.

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.

Lincomix offers flexible dose rate for M. hyo

TOOLBOX, Issue 7: An interview with Thomas Painter, DVM, US Pork Technical Services, Zoetis 

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.

Can’t we just let boars be boars?

By Larry Rueff, DVM Swine Veterinary Services  Greensburg, Indiana

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.

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...

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.

Is it time to eliminate PED from US herds?

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

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.

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.

A question of when: How the US pork industry is preparing for a possible FAD outbreak

This is the second in a two-part series on foreign animal diseases.  Part 1 looks at the economic impact of a FAD outbreak.

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.

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 

Don’t lose sight of M. hyo while battling other swine pathogens

TOOLBOX, Issue 1: An interview with Lucina Galina Pantoja, DVM, PhD, Director, Swine Technical Services, Zoetis 

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.

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.

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...

Communication key to consumer acceptance of modern pig production

The pig industry needs to be more open about intensive production systems if consumers are to be more accepting of modern pig production, a new study confirms.

Brenneman: ‘Have conversations about what’s going on at the farm’

The pork industry needs to do a better job telling its story — particularly about how it is improving, evolving and serving the best interests of consumers, producer Erin Brenneman told Pig Health...

Veterinarians in best position to be ‘ambassadors’ for antimicrobials in pork production

Veterinarians can leverage their credibility to help consumers understand the complexity of the decision-making process for antimicrobials used in pork production.

ASF threat: Three US swine vets share insights from the frontline

The rapid spread of ASF throughout China and other regions of the world has raised concerns the disease will ultimately make its way to the US — a development that could cripple the nation’s pork...

Herd performance best measure of PRRS vaccine efficacy

TOOLBOX, Issue 9: An interview with Jose Angulo, DVM, PRRS Specialist, Managing Veterinarian, Zoetis 

Tackling PRRS: Managing outbreaks to limit damage

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a virus that can take a significant toll on pig producers due to reproductive losses, decreased performance and damaging secondary infections....

Quarantine window for feed ingredients may reduce hog disease risk

Foreign animal diseases (FAD) are top of mind as the ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China, Belgium and elsewhere, have raised the stakes to implement new practices designed to...

Processing fluids helping to fine tune diagnostics in swine herds thought to be PRRS-negative

Collecting aggregate samples of processing fluids during tail docking and castration is proving to be an excellent way to monitor herds for porcine reproductive and respiratory disease (PRRS) virus,...

Seven tips for fine tuning sow feed efficiency

Want to know what’s really impacting your bottom line? Get down to slat level, says a sow-management specialist. That’s where the less obvious feed-related factors could be stealing your ROI.

Improving welfare leads to higher herd performance

Measures to improve animal welfare on hog farms can improve — rather than jeopardize — economic performance of herds, scientists have discovered.

3D cameras help limit tail biting in pigs

A high-tech system which uses 3D cameras to spot tail movements in pigs could soon help farmers identify the early signs of tail biting, scientists in the UK have discovered.

13 tips for rearing healthier, more profitable pigs with fewer antibiotics

Controlling and limiting the amount of antibiotics on a farm doesn’t have to be to the detriment of a herd’s overall health — and can, in fact, lead to a more profitable and sustainable...

Dee: African swine fever outbreak in China major threat to US pork

News that China broke with African swine fever generated great concern for many in the US swine industry, including Scott Dee, DVM, Pipestone Veterinary Services.

Dipsticks offer early warning of sow urinary-tract infections

Minimizing urinary-tract infections is an important step — not only in securing a sow’s overall health but also its productivity and, ultimately, its longevity.

Tips for proper selection of cleaning, disinfection products

By Neal Benjamin, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Carthage, Illinois

‘Immune-mediated protection’ key to managing Group C rotavirus

Rotavirus is not a new disease facing the swine industry, but it’s also not going away. There are various groups of rotaviruses that impact piglets differently.

Non-thermal plasma reactors can inactivate PRRSV

Hog-farm biosecurity measures have largely focused on minimizing the transmission of infectious agents on various surfaces. However, it’s been shown that PRRSV — and possibly other respiratory...

Feed duration biggest issue under new swine VFD rule

More than a year into FDA’s new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules, pork producers and veterinarians are finding the potential problem spots.

Employee training improves piglet-survival rates

An employee-training program focused on online training followed by tracked, in-barn verification experiences helped a start-up farm achieve top piglet-survival rates, according to a study.

Training staff to spot sick pigs early leads to higher performance, lower mortality

Pig health is critical for maintaining animal welfare and ensuring a steady supply of safe and affordable pork.

PCR falls short in monitoring PRRSV transport biosecurity

Transport biosecurity is a growing priority as evidence shows that contaminated livestock trailers are a significant risk in spreading viruses between herds.

Antibiotic use at weaning can reduce acute illness in pigs

The transition into the nursery phase for just-weaned pigs presents many challenges as they adapt to a new diet, a new environment and increased competition. Young pigs often need some extra help.

The big imposter: Senecavirus A prompts frequent false alarms at Minnesota pork plant

Employees at the Hormel pork-processing plant in Austin, Minn., well understand the drill for a foreign animal disease (FAD) investigation.

Two tactics to reduce stillborns and improve piglet survival

Two midwestern sow operations recently discussed how each achieves high piglet-survival rates by using different techniques to attend farrowing.

PCV2: Future considerations for an evolving virus

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) may not be a new virus challenge for pork producers and swine veterinarians, but it remains a constant challenge.

Three simple, effective ways to help hogs beat the heat this summer

For many reasons, including historically warmer weather and the fact that sows now produce bigger litters, pigs are more susceptible to heat stress, which could potentially affect their performance...

Heat stress: How much does it drain your pigs and profits?

Each year, heat stress costs US pig farmers about $900 million in revenues — about twice the amount lost as a result of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Pig Health Today lines up video interviews with top experts at WPX

At least 30 swine-health experts and trend watchers will be interviewed on camera over the next three days as part of Pig Health Today’s news coverage of the 2018 World Pork Expo.

ALL HEALTH, ALL THE TIME

Pig Health Today, the world’s only news website and magazine focused exclusively on swine health, will mark its first anniversary this week at World Pork Expo.

Early PRRS vaccination helps protect pigs through slaughter

A new, single-dose vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been shown to protect pigs from before weaning to slaughter, helping prevent secondary infections and...

Crossing the line: Biosecurity for employee entry is still a work in progress

By Derald Holtkamp, MS, DVM Associate Professor Iowa State University

Special edition of Pig Health Today captures presentations from 2-day PRRS conference

Pig Health Today has published a free, 32-page special report, “Framing the Future of PRRS,” with news summaries of eight presentations by veterinarians and scientists specializing in porcine...

Retailers setting their sights on pain management in pig production

Although antibiotics and sow housing have remained center stage in recent years, retailers are increasingly putting pressure on producers to address pain management as part of their...

Dietary alternatives to antibiotics show mixed results in ISU research review

Given the task to find and review research on dietary alternatives for sub-therapeutic antibiotic growth promotants, Wes Schweer and a team of pork-industry experts didn’t know what to expect.

ESPHM 2018 to focus on global issues in swine health

Swine veterinarians, researchers and industry leaders from around the world will gather at the European Symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM), to be held May 9-11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Cull sow market breeding ground for disease transmission

Many sows sold into the cull sow market become “frequent travelers” and pose a serious risk of disease transmission if a foreign animal-disease (FAD) outbreak occurs.

Breeding sows without CD163 gene might ultimately eliminate PRRS virus

Sows without the CD163 gene are not only resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus, they also give birth to healthy, normal piglets — a finding that could...

IPIC targeting losses from sow mortality

Healthy and productive sows help ensure profitable and efficient herds. So, when the sow mortality rate due to pelvic organ prolapse started to increase throughout the industry for no apparent...

‘Don’t blame antibiotics use on production systems,’ says UK pig sector

The UK pig sector has warned campaigners against oversimplifying the link between production systems and antibiotics use.

Is colostrum the ‘golden ticket’ to driving down antibiotic use?

UK swine farmers are being urged to recognize the value of giving newborn pigs good-quality colostrum as part of industry efforts to drive down antibiotics use.

The eve of disruption: How changes in retail and consumer trends might affect pork consumption—and production

In this special report, Pig Health Today looks at disruptions in the consumer and retail landscapes and how they could forever change the US pork industry and the way pigs are raised.

Pig feed reminder over African Swine Fever concerns

UK pig keepers are being reminded to avoid feeding animals food waste and check their biosecurity measures to help prevent outbreaks of diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF).

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

The 2018 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 2017 coverage (Part 3...

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

The 2018 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 2017 coverage (Part 2...

US pork industry’s first vaccine with two PCV2 genotypes announced at AASV

The US pork industry’s first vaccine to include two genotypes of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) — 2a and 2b — was announced on the first day of the American Association of Swine...

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

The 2018 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 2017 coverage (Part 1...

Premier issue of Pig Health Today magazine now available

The premier issue of Pig Health Today magazine is off the press and being mailed to some 10,000 pork producers, swine consultants and opinion leaders in the US. The colorful, 36-page magazine can...

Product claims = more sales

Production claims on meat and poultry product labels are generating more sales volume and more dollars, according to a Nielsen survey.

Protein by any other name

Meat and poultry have dominated the American diet over the years. But the movement toward protein alternatives, particularly plant-based products, is growing.

Make way for meal kits

A Nielsen survey  reports that 25% of US shoppers purchased meal kits in 2016.

The Amazon factor

Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods Market, not only will e-commerce grocery shopping proliferate, but the food complex as a whole will change.

E-commerce is changing behaviors

E-commerce is a significant part of consumers’ shopping behaviors today, and with 83% of Americans carrying smartphones, it will only grow.

What makes a millennial?

As the largest generational class in the US today, the millennials are in the driver’s seat in terms of dictating products, services, trends and outcomes. It is worth noting that a consistent age...

Production specialists urged to share insights on no-antibiotics programs, animal welfare

Antibiotics are important for maintaining animal health, but their use has come under scrutiny in recent years due to the rise of antibiotic resistance globally.

Steps to keep the incidence of stillborns at bay

by Megan Schnur, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd. Carthage, Illinois

New forms of swine influenza pose tough but manageable challenges

New strains of the swine influenza virus continue to emerge, making it difficult for pork producers to manage, two experts who specialize in the disease of food animals said at a recent webinar...

Individual pig care offers path to better health, uniformity

Making pig uniformity part of the management strategy from birth can maximize profitability throughout the growth cycle.

Three tips for talking to consumers about animal health

Growing consumer interest in antibiotic resistance and the way antimicrobials are used on farms means more hog farmers are facing questions about the way they care for their animals.

Pork producers need to proactively communicate with consumers to change the dialogue

Pork producers and swine veterinarians need to take a more active role in consumers’ food conversations for them to get an accurate picture of how pigs are raised, said Tamika Sims, PhD, director...

New claim provides flexible dosing for M. hyo medication

Pork producers battling swine respiratory disease associated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) now have more flexibility when using Lincomix® (lincomycin hydrochloride) Type A medicated...

Calls to cut antibiotics could hurt pig health, vet warns

Calls to ban antibiotics for disease protection in pig and other livestock systems could damage animal welfare and compromise the United States’ food system, industry leaders say.

New antibiotics targets announced for UK pig sector

UK pig produers are working to meet ambitious new targets to further reduce antibiotic use in the industry.

What to expect during an on-farm CSI audit

An on-farm visit by an auditor will likely be routine for pork producers in the future. Knowing what an auditor expects and what pork producers can do during the audit will help prepare for a...

Pig Health Today launches mobile app

Pig Health Today, the world’s only news website focused entirely on swine health, welfare and sustainability, has partnered with sponsor Zoetis to launch a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Air-cleaning technology could slash respiratory disease risk

A technology that reduces dust, germs and gasses from the air in pig sheds could help cut the number of pigs that develop lesions associated with respiratory disease.

Build up winter housing defenses to ward off disease

Optimizing pig sheds is vital for maintaining herd health, but in the winter months, getting the environment right is especially important in warding off illness.

Secure Pork Supply plan: Beginning steps to safeguard your herd

According to an Iowa State University study, the potential revenue losses to US pork and beef industries from an FMD outbreak would run $12.8 billion annually with associated losses to corn and...

Urine sampling can reliably detect penicillin residues in sows

Urine sampling is a reliable way to detect procaine penicillin G (PPG) residues prior to processing and may help producers avoid processing-plant violations, according to Locke A. Karriker, DVM, a...

USDA, industry groups take issue with WHO’s latest statement on poultry, livestock antibiotics

The USDA’s chief scientist and several scientific and industry organizations took issue with the World Health Organization’s recent news release recommending that poultry and livestock...

Accurate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae diagnosis challenging but essential

The diagnosis of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) infection remains challenging but can be made with confidence when a systematic approach is applied and the clinical picture aligns with laboratory...

ISU scientists pinpoint indicators of acute pain in neonatal pigs

Indicators of acute pain in piglets have been identified by researchers from Iowa State University (ISU).

SHIC matrix weighs the impact of emerging swine diseases

As porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and Seneca Valley virus surfaced within the US swine herd in recent years, it underscored the threat posed by emerging and foreign animal diseases.

How 50 swine vets plan to manage seasonal respiratory disease in the new VFD era

For as long as any pork producer can remember, fall’s arrival traditionally was a signal to add a respiratory antibiotic to the grower-finisher rations or, at the very least, pulse feed a...

PCV MH vaccines provide equal protection in study, but lung lesions, ADG, final weight differ

Three porcine circovirus (PCV) vaccines compared in a recent study equally protected pigs against PCV type 2d and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, but there were some significant differences in gross...

Greenway: ‘Don’t be afraid to engage’ consumers on antibiotics, welfare

Pork producers should find more ways to engage with consumers and share their stories about responsible antibiotic use and welfare, says Brad Greenway, America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2016.

Urine-sampling options make it easier to evaluate gilt and sow health

Urine samples are an effective but underutilized diagnostic tool for evaluating the nutritional, physiological and health status of gilts and sows.

Livestock farming standards to get boost under antimicrobial-resistance plan

The European Commission has unveiled plans to promote better global livestock farming standards in a bid to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and humans.

‘Shaking pig syndrome’ identified on Austrian farm

Scientists in Austria have identified a virus that causes a congenital tremor in piglets and can result in heavy losses to infected litters.