fbpx
Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Download the report!Continue to Site >
or wait 7 secs

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)
Tap to download the app
X
Share
X

REPORTS

Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report

Favorites

Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
CREATE
X
NEXT
PORK POULTRY
follow us


You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Pig Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Pig Health Today | Sponsored by Zoetis

.
Featured Video Play Icon

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, when pigs are often castrated and tail-docked, but also pain resulting from Streptococcus suis (Strep suis) infection.

Peggy Anne Hawkins, DVM, Veterinary Provisions, Northfield, Minnesota, said processing often “opens the door” to bacterial infection.

“The pain of a Strep suis infection, which goes to meningitis or brain swelling, [has] got to be very painful for the animals,” she told Pig Health Today.

Managing piglet pain

Hawkins acknowledged that measuring pain levels in piglets could be difficult. For example, when baby pigs are momentarily scooped up crate-side, castrated and tail-docked and then returned to the sow, “they’re really not as affected [by the procedure] as you might think.”

“Just picking a pig up and putting it down elicits the same response. So, it’s very difficult to measure these things because just handling a pig is enough to stress it out.”

Hawkins recommends using products with iodine and lidocaine to help mitigate infection and pain, respectively. “As the lidocaine wears off, the pigs will adjust to the pain,” she added.

As for Strep suis infection, Hawkins said the bacterium was “ubiquitous” on sow farms and that antibiotics were often needed to manage infections that could lead to painful, debilitating conditions such as meningitis and brain swelling.

“As far as welfare, a swollen brain is one of the most painful things that can happen to an animal,” she added. Reducing infections therefore needs to be part of a good pig-welfare program, Hawkins said.

Hawkins noted that some work had been done to see whether medicating sows could help minimize pain from castration and tail docking in suckling pigs, but that has been shown to cause ulcers in the sow.

“We have to look at the whole picture” when evaluating ways to offset pain and infection, she added.

Case for tail docking

The veterinarian said that despite creating an opportunity for bacterial infection, leaving tails intact wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. “If you don’t dock the tail, the pigs bite the tails,” she added.

She noted that studies have shown that the level of tail biting was often “cultural” and not necessarily related to environment or nutrition.  How pigs in a pen respond to tail biting also can vary. Some pigs, for example, allow other pigs to bite their tails, while others move away from the aggressor.

Hawkins said that in Europe, tail-docking bans in some markets have not always resulted in better pig welfare.

“When you allow pigs to bite other pigs, you get bacteria straight from the mouth into the tail, right into the nervous system,” Hawkins said. “[You] get the same situation with Strep suis bacteria moving into the central nervous system, causing pigs to lie down and paddle.”

 

 




Posted on January 30, 2019

tags: , , ,
RELATED NEWS
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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, swine-welfare director for the AASV.




You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.