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• • • •   SPECIAL COVID-19 MESSAGE FROM PIG HEALTH TODAY   • • • •

The editors of Pig Health Today are acutely aware of the hardships facing the pork industry as it responds to plant closures, labor shortages and other challenges resulting from the pandemic.

At the same time, we recognize that maintaining herd health and biosecurity are vital to the industry’s long-term security and sustainability. We therefore will continue to report on the latest news and information to help the pork industry meet this goal. As always, we welcome your comments and editorial suggestions.

Please click here to contact the editor.

Category Archive: Diagnostics, FSVS, Global TOP NEWS, News, PGT GLOBAL, PGT US, PRRS, Research, SVC, TOP NEWS

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.

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.

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,...

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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? 

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.


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