Farmscape for July 17, 2023
A professor of veterinary medicine with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests accurate diagnostics is key to controlling diarrhea in grow finish swine operations.
Data released by the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network indicates the number of cases of diarrhea has declined over the last couple of years but samples submitted for diagnosis from grow finish pigs with diarrhea indicate ongoing issues in some barns.
Dr. John Harding, a professor of swine medicine with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says, if a producer suspects diarrhea is affecting productivity, a correct diagnosis will ensure the most effective and cost-effective control strategy is implemented.
Quote-Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
There are four major causes of grow finish diarrhea, Ileitis caused by bacteria, Lawsonia intracellularis and there are acute or chronic forms of that disease.
Secondly, Salmonellosis and that's caused by various species of Salmonella enterica and often serovar Typhimurium.
There's swine dysentery which is caused by either Brachyspira hyodysenteriae or Brachyspira hampsonii and then there's Spirochetal colitis and it's caused by Brachyspira pilosicoli.
And then of course there's PEDV that do affect some regions of Manitoba.
That waxes and wanes over time.
It's really important to note that grow finish diarrheas in general are probably multifactorial to some degree.
Other factors such as dietary changes, new grains each fall, sometimes nutrient quality or diet formulation issues, sanitation, water quality in the Canadian prairies and temperature, they all contribute to episodes of diarrhea that are seen on a given farm.
Dr. Harding notes a wide range of diagnostic tests and strategies are available to identify potential causes of diarrhea and many are readily available at the provincial veterinary diagnostic labs.
He encourages producers to work with their herd health veterinarian to determine the best samples to submit.
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