Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Sweepstakes Rules
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.)

We’re glad you’re enjoying Pig Health Today.
Access is free but you’ll need to register to view more content.
Already registered? Sign In
Tap to download the app


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

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
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

Veterinarian says VFD led to more strategic antibiotic use

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

But getting to this point required trial and error to determine what was and wasn’t needed, according to Mike Eisenmenger, DVM, Swine Veterinary Center.

Pulled many antibiotics

Eisenmenger and his clients decided to use the new VFD rules as an opportunity to figure out exactly what antibiotics are needed. They removed most antibiotics including those used in nursery feed, routine sow pulses and injectables at farrowing.

“What we found was both good and bad,” he admitted. “Some of those antibiotics were truly needed.”

One example is in the farrowing house where they stopped giving antibiotic injections during processing.

“Over the next 6 months to a year, we noticed in a lot of the systems that preweaning mortality was going up,” Eisenmenger said. “When we went back and explored the reasons, there were a lot of joint infections occurring around the time of those surgical procedures.

“Just like humans going through a surgical procedure, it is appropriate to have some antibiotics on board,” he explained. “We’ve gone back to placing antibiotics at the time of surgical procedures in farrowing.”

Antibiotics used strategically

When the VFD was first announced, Eisenmenger admitted he was concerned. “Am I going to be a veterinarian that’s just signing a bunch of paperwork?” he asked.

“But this was good for us. It made us stop and reflect on all the programs that we’re doing and [understand] which ones were really needed.”

Antibiotics are now used more strategically. In very healthy pig flows, antibiotics are not used. But if mortality starts to creep up or a minor welfare issue arises, antibiotics are introduced.

These decisions are made with clients during quarterly meetings where they review all feed-grade antibiotic programs and other antibiotic needs.

Preserve a precious resource

“We’ve learned that antibiotics are still extremely important to pig health,” Eisenmenger said. “Our job is to take what I would say is a precious resource…and do our best to use it most appropriately.”

Right now, he is not supportive of antibiotic-free hog production, especially with current disease challenges in the hog industry. “I’m hoping we are not forced to go to that direction,” he said.

“We want to preserve the right to use antibiotics, and if we do it in a responsible way, which I think we are under the VFD prescription process, it’s something that can continue in the future,” he added.



Posted on January 16, 2020

tags: , , ,

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Share It
Looking at individual “pieces of the puzzle” means farm owners can evaluate the pros and cons of Mycoplasma elimination programs and come to a practical solution, says veterinarian David A. Baumert.

Click an icon to share this information with your industry contacts.
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.