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Category Archive: Breeding Herd, Interviews, News, PGT GLOBAL, PGT US, Podcasts, Videos

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.

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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? 

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.

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.

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...

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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,...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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. 

Parvovirus still poses threat to breeding herd

For as long as anyone can remember, pork producers have vaccinated gilts for parvovirus. Now that outbreaks are rare, is it necessary to vaccinate the entire breeding herd? 

Raising pigs without antibiotics? Plan to ‘sweat the small stuff’

Follow this rule if you’re raising pigs without antibiotics: “Sweat the small stuff.” That’s the advice from Doug MacDougald, DVM, for any farm that wants to eliminate antibiotics without...

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.

SHIC establishes diagnostic strategies to get ahead of disease

If knowledge is power, being prepared is security. Both are drivers behind the Swine Health Information Center’s (SHIC) program to share information among the nation’s four major swine veterinary...

Pork industry needs to balance animal well-being with antibiotic pressures

After 37 years of swine veterinary practice, John Baker, DVM, Boonville, Indiana, sees producers and veterinarians entering a new era in antibiotic management — one that focuses not on arbitrarily...

Castration alternative boosting efficiency, quality and welfare in Brazil

Pig producers in Brazil are improving efficiency, quality and welfare standards thanks to a novel alternative to physical castration, says a prominent swine veterinarian and meat scientist.

Castration alternative boosting efficiency, quality and welfare in Brazil

Pig producers in Brazil are improving efficiency, quality and welfare standards thanks to a novel alternative to physical castration, says a prominent swine veterinarian and meat scientist.

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...

Scientist ‘pops the hood’ on US pork industry’s newest vaccine for PCV2

What is “cell-mediated immunity” and how does it affect vaccine performance? Are two PCV2 genotypes necessarily better than one? And what does a monster from Greek mythology have to do with...

Part 1: Cell-mediated immunity critical to vaccine performance

What is “cell-mediated immunity” and how does it affect vaccine performance? Are two PCV2 genotypes necessarily better than one? And what does a monster from Greek mythology have to do with...

Part 2: Why two PCV2 genotypes are better than one

What is “cell-mediated immunity” and how does it affect vaccine performance? Are two PCV2 genotypes necessarily better than one? And what does a monster from Greek mythology have to do with...

Part 3: Chimeric vaccines combine strengths of each antigen to provide better coverage

What is “cell-mediated immunity” and how does it affect vaccine performance? Are two PCV2 genotypes necessarily better than one? And what does a monster from Greek mythology have to do with...

Good nutrition, management can’t replace antibiotics, but they can help reduce the need

Producers looking to raise pigs with little or no antibiotics should consider nutritional strategies that help pigs build more immunity, according to Mike Tokach, PhD.

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.

Ileitis: Is it possible to control in baby pigs without antibiotics?

Ileitis may be a ubiquitous disease in grow-finish pigs, but with changes in on-farm antibiotic use it could become a new, more common challenge in the nursery period.

See it, do it, teach it: Veterinarian offers tips for caregiver training

When you give someone something to read, the expressed competency level is about 10%. When you talk to them on the phone, it’s only 20%. But if that person sees a colleague do something a certain...

Strep suis resurfacing to challenge high-health herds

What’s old is new again — or at least that’s what some high-health herds are finding with Streptococcus suis (Strep suis).

Castration rule change a chance for Europe’s producers to get ‘smarter, faster’

Changes to rules around pig castration in Europe should be viewed as an opportunity to improve welfare and efficiencies rather than a problem producers need to overcome, says a pig health expert.

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,...

African Swine Fever could cost assorted industries billions of dollars

If the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus enters the United States, the repercussions will be felt throughout the agriculture sector and beyond.

Locking out PDCOV requires attention to biosecurity detail

Porcine delta coronavirus (PDCOV) may not be as devastating as its relative, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), but the negative impact on production is motivation enough to work to lock it out...

Five ways to get better returns on your swine-health program

The pork industry uses a wide variety of vaccinations and medications for managing viral and bacterial diseases. Micah Jansen, DVM, Zoetis, identifies five areas where producers can improve returns...

Pavlovic: Today’s PED outbreaks may be mild but still hurt profitability

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus may not be as devastating to hogs today as it was a few years ago, but it still damages the bottom line, according to Lynn Pavlovic, DVM, Iowa Select Farms.

Dee: Research shows potential for FAD transmission through some imported feed ingredients

A big step in preventing transmission of foreign animal diseases (FAD) through feed is to reduce virus-survival rates in the feed, explained Scott Dee, DVM, PhD, director of research, Pipestone...

Connor: Managing mycoplasma requires integrated approach with vaccines, feed medications, injectables

Mycoplasma pneumonia continues to trouble the swine industry. Around for years, the respiratory disease caused by the bacterium M. hyo reduces pig performance, especially when mixed with other...

‘We’ve almost forgotten that boars just perform better’

Ever since Larry Rueff, DVM, a swine veterinarian from Greensburg, IN, stopped physically castrating some of his pigs 4 years ago, and started using a protein compound that works like an immunization...

PCV3: A challenge independent from PCV2

Anyone involved in raising pigs is aware of PCV2, but new on the scene is porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3). Although the two viruses are both circular DNA viruses in the same family, they are...

Scientists genetically engineer PRRS-resistant pigs

Scientists in Scotland have discovered a way to genetically engineer pigs to be resistant to one of the mostly costly livestock diseases in the world.

2018 Leman Conference features ‘science-based solutions’ for pork production

Organized by the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the annual 4-day Allen D. Leman Swine Conference offers scientific and practical information on a broad range of swine...

Don’t get complacent with evolving PCV2 virus

Vaccines for porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) currently do an adequate job of cross protecting against new genotypes of the virus, but swine veterinarians and producers shouldn’t let their guard...

Lessons learned from recent Seneca Valley outbreaks

The Seneca Valley virus (SVV) is proving to be something of a test case for swine producers’ and veterinarians’ preparedness for foreign animal diseases.

Rapid Response Corps poised to investigate transboundary swine disease outbreaks

The US pork industry learned a big lesson after the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) outbreak in 2013.

‘False alarms’ by Seneca Valley virus trigger costly FMD investigations

A growing number of Seneca Valley virus (SVV) outbreaks wastes the time and money of people who investigate suspected foreign animal-disease outbreaks.

Barn location can impact PRRS exposure risk

Several factors go into selecting a site for a pork-production unit, but research shows there are a couple more — specifically, terrain and vegetation — that may influence exposure to the porcine...

Piglets are key subpopulation in keeping IAV-S circulating

When it comes to influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S), the relationship between the sow’s immune status and piglet protection remains perplexing.

Yeske: Mycoplasma elimination ‘always a good strategy’

Eliminating mycoplasma from a herd works well with a fast payback, even in hog-dense areas, according to research conducted by Paul Yeske, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota.

Maximizing colostrum intake at birth improves finishing performance

The amount of colostrum a piglet consumes during its first 24 hours of life impacts its performance through finishing, according to Jeffery Wiegert, swine specialist, North Carolina State University...

Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project underscores value of information sharing

Collaboration among veterinarians working with different pork producers is one of the great benefits emanating from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project (MSHMP).

What have we learned about antibiotic-resistant genes in groundwater?

Swine manure is a valuable resource for cropland, but understanding its potential impact on groundwater is an ongoing priority.

What’s driving the surge in sow mortality?

Sow mortality in US herds has trended upward in recent years, and identifying the reasons has frustrated producers and veterinarians alike.  

Iowa Select veterinarian taking a more targeted approach with antibiotics

Iowa Select Farms’ targeted approach to antibiotic use within its production system began well before the FDA’s expanded VFD rule.   

‘Coopetition’ healthy for pork industry

Teaming up to share ideas and troubleshoot swine-health issues can be good for pork producers and the industry, said Joel Nerem, DVM, a swine veterinarian with Pipestone Veterinary Services,...

Antibiotic stewardship: What can the pork industry learn from human medicine?

With so much attention being placed on antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance, animal agriculture can sometimes feel as if it’s the only target. However, human medicine also is getting an...

Batch farrowing offers smaller sow farms improved disease control

Independent sow farms grouped together and using batch farrowing may be able to capture the same health advantages as a 5,000-sow farm with all-in, all-out production.

How close are we to having a Strep suis vaccine for pigs?

Although antibiotics provide a treatment option for Streptococcus suis — a common, widespread bacterium in swine — long-term management hinges on an effective vaccine.  

More planning required for feed medications in new VFD era

Planning, paperwork and prevention are the priorities on hog farms in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expanded veterinary feed directive (VFD), which came onto the scene in...

Part 1: Vaccine storage and handling

A common mistake made with vaccines involves improper handling of the vaccines. From the time the products arrive on the farm until they are used, the vaccines must be properly stored, following...

Part 2: Selecting and training caregivers for effective vaccination

A common mistake made with vaccines involves improper handling of the vaccines. From the time the products arrive on the farm until they are used, the vaccines must be properly stored, following...

Part 3: Vaccine training more important as pork industry rethinks antibiotics

The new veterinary feed directive rules regarding the use of antibiotics in feed makes the use of vaccinations more important to maintain optimum swine health. If pigs receive proper vaccinations...

Part 4: Training benefits antibiotic programs, too

A well-trained caregiver becomes the first line of defense against disease in a hog unit. If they are trained to recognize the first signs of disease in pig units, they can alert management...

Part 5: Feed medications still play an important role in swine health

Veterinarians know the history of disease that may pop up within different hog systems. Depending on the situation, they may decide that a feed antibiotic is the best route to treat the pigs.

Cull-sow market endangers foreign animal-disease prevention

The US cull-sow market could threaten containment plans if a foreign animal-disease (FAD) outbreak occurred in the US, according to Jim Lowe, DVM, associate professor at the University of Illinois.

Antibiotic-free production: What lessons can pork learn from poultry?

A rapid increase in the use of vaccines for respiratory and enteric diseases in swine over the past year will ultimately allow a reduction in antibiotic use, predicted Joe Connor, DVM, swine...

How long do mycoplasma-negative herds stay negative?

Most hog farms successfully stamp out mycoplasma pneumonia when they work with their veterinarian to eliminate the disease. The challenge is preventing reinfection. 

USDA seeks comments on plans to modernize swine inspection

Spokespersons for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made the rounds at the 2018 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta to drum up support for proposed rules to...

Healthy, stress-free GI tract is key to pigs’ long-term health

A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is inextricably linked to the nervous system and is generally a strong predictor of a pig’s overall health, said a research veterinarian who specializes in...

High-risk viruses survive in feed, threaten US pork

An investigation initiated by the Pipestone System and Scott Dee, DVM, continues to uncover more information about the link between feed ingredients and foreign pathogen movement.

Pig care, disease prevention are top goals for this vet

In a video produced as part of the Vets on Call series, Dr. Paul Ruen explains that pigs are social creatures who like to be in groups.

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...

In-feed antibiotics best addressed on a case-by-case basis

Adjusting to changes in how and when to use in-feed antibiotics is an ongoing effort. While those products are still available under veterinarian supervision for prevention and treatment of a...

Food-chain specialist: Communicate the emotional side of pork production, not the technical

The food supply chain has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. “It’s so much more complex and consumer driven,” said Justin Ransom, supply chain strategist. “Today’s consumer can ask...

Balancing good and bad bacteria key to effective gut health, nutrient absorption

Developing techniques and tools to encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut is key to producing healthier pigs that require fewer antibiotics over the long term, according to swine...

Boar stud requires high health status, zero tolerance for biosecurity errors

A boar stud producing semen for thousands of sows needs to maintain excellent health with the highest level of biosecurity possible.

Pork producers gain ground against PRRS with reduced production losses

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains one of the most costly viruses infecting US herds. But an Iowa State University study showed the annual cost of PRRS dropped nearly $100...

Pig care: If there’s something off, don’t try to ‘look him well’

Watching pigs may not be glamorous or stimulating, but it’s a responsibility that Bob Blomme, DVM, takes very seriously.

Practicing precision animal health

Ross Kiehne, DVM, practices what he calls “precision animal health.” “I’m only going to provide the vaccine or antibiotic that’s right for the pig at that time in its life to make it as...

Yeske: Provide better pig care — one animal at a time

Taking time to walk the pens, make eye contact with each pig and pull the sick ones for individual care seems to conflict with inherent efficiencies associated with population medicine.

Getting pigs off to a good start with better gut health

Improved education of caretakers is one way pork producers can help ensure their pigs have a healthy gut and get off to a good start, Noel Garbes, DVM, technical services veterinarian, Zoetis, told...

Is your hog farm prepared to navigate quarantines in a FAD outbreak?

Each year, approximately 25% of all the pork produced in the US is exported to other countries. Imagine if access to those markets closed abruptly. That’s the scenario pork producers would face if...

What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal...

What you need to know about CSI auditors

Anyone who owns hogs or hog buildings should expect a visit someday by an auditor who will conduct an animal-welfare and food-safety audit. Usually a packer or processor requests the audit, which is...

Virtual clinic drives better understanding of disease outbreaks

A virtual veterinary clinic that monitors pig-disease trends and provides an early alert system for diagnostic laboratories and swine practitioners is helping the US pork industry stay head of...

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.

PEDV still taking major toll on US sow farms

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is still around and can lead to major losses for pork producers, cautioned Gene Nemechek, DVM, technical services veterinarian, Zoetis.

Taking oral-fluid samples for PRRS: How many and when?

Oral-fluid sampling can provide a simple, reliable way to surveil for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), Marisa Rotolo, DVM, of Iowa State University, reported at the 2017...

‘Race to zero’ not the answer in antibiotics debate

Regulations around the use of antibiotics in feed should not encourage a race to “no antibiotics ever” production systems that could compromise pig welfare, according to a pork-industry...

Can we find the ‘next PED’ before it finds us?

Paul Sundberg, DVM, recalls sitting around a conference table in San Diego in spring 2013, talking with other swine veterinarians about a new pig disease burning through China at the time.

So far, so good: Pork producers adjusting well to new VFD rules

Implementation of the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) in swine has gone smoothly in the field, according to Chris Rademacher, DVM, Iowa State University Extension.

‘Secure Pork’ plan aims to ensure pig flow from uninfected farms during FAD outbreak

If a foreign animal disease (FAD) were to hit the US pork industry, the impact could be dramatic and widespread — most likely resulting in government-mandated quarantines around the affected areas...

Pork industry teaming with NAHMS, FDA to score antibiotic use

National Pork Board’s David Pyburn, DVM, talked with Pig Health Today about two initiatives under way to help regulators grade the pork industry’s commitment to responsible antibiotic usage.

What’s the best PRRS strategy for your herd?

Every year, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) infects an estimated 25% to 45% of sow herds in the US, according to Clayton Johnson, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Clinic, Carthage,...

Understanding swine flu’s diversity key to better control programs

The number of swine influenza cases as well as the diversity of circulating flu viruses have increased in the past several years, based on experience at Iowa State’s Veterinary Diagnostic...

Want better biosecurity? Start with your pig trailers

Improving transportation biosecurity may be the last frontier the swine industry needs to conquer to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. According to Butch Baker, DVM, the spread of...

Veterinarian offers tips for surviving a CSI audit

While audits are part of doing business, many pork producers still worry about going through the process. Amber Stricker, DVM, steps in to help clients prepare for or undergo an audit, which is...

Hanor swine vet: Food animals deserve the same care and treatment as pets

Pigs are “very cool” animals — they’re all curious and very friendly from the time they’re baby pigs to sows and boars, explains Tara Donovan, DVM, company veterinarian for Hanor Company.

PEDV outbreaks prompt a ‘CSI Pipestone’ investigation

When PEDV devastated the US hog industry in 2013, the Pipestone System remained fairly unscathed, with only a couple of farms experiencing outbreaks. Their luck changed in January 2014.

M. hyo: Control or elimination?

Effective control of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) has to start in the breeding herd to prevent problems with the disease in finishers, according to Lucina Galina, DVM, director of technical...

New VFD rules affecting disease management for swine

The updated VFD rules that took effect in January 2017 haven’t required a big adjustment for the swine industry, but they have furthered the trend toward reduced antibiotic use — and the result...

Iowa veterinarian sees benefits to early PRRS vaccination

It takes 3 to 4 weeks for pigs to develop immunity against PRRSV after vaccination with a modified-live vaccine, so vaccinating early gives them the time they need to develop immunity by nursery age,...

Opportunistic pathogens prey on newly weaned pigs infected with a primary virus

Around 50% of pigs weaned today likely are infected with a primary viral pathogen, like porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) or swine influenza, reported Cameron Schmitt, DVM,...

Positive-pressure ventilation makes a comeback to reduce PRRS transmissions

Producers looking for ways to reduce porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) find positive-pressure ventilation with some modifications works, especially in older building, according to...

Understanding animal behavior helps ensure better piglet care

Watching 21-day old piglets that just left their mothers being placed in a nursery barn takes a special “sixth” sense to understand what they’re feeling.

Technology, veterinary care helping to improve pig health, production on Illinois swine farm

Ness farm pigs get dessert before dinner. The Ness’ production system uses a liquid byproduct from an ice cream manufacturer to supply fat and energy to their pigs’ diet.

Swine vet: Factory-farm concept ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’

Today the term factory farm is used very widely, and most people think machines are making pigs, notes Seth Krantz, DVM, company veterinarian for Tosh Farms.


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