Pig International - January/February 2017 - 17

PigInternational ❙ 17

Clostridium difficileis emerging as a severe colitis
particularly where there has been heavy use of antibiotics. Vaccines against C. difficile are under development.

3
Dennis Van De Water | Dreamstime.com

Colibacillosis

Escherichia coli is still prevalent as a cause
of piglet diarrhea at any age despite availability
of effective vaccines since the mid 1980s. Antibiotics
can be appropriate for emergency control, but E. colirapidly develops resistance under routine antibiotic use.
Some resistant E. coli can penetrate the gut and reach
the brain and organs of diarrheic pigs. Sow vaccination
with 4-strain (K88, K99, 987p, F41) or autogenous vaccine controls colibacillosis.

4

Rotavirus

Rotavirus typically produces a mild diarrhea
and villus blunting in pigs about 10 to 14 days of
age or older. Chilling is a factor reducing immunity and
resistance. Rotavirus is diagnosed by histopathology, but
kits and PCR methods exist. There are vaccines, but the
disease is generally controlled by feedback of feces from
diarrheic pigs to sows two to three weeks before farrowing, and by keeping piglets warm and dry.

5

Coronaviruses

Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) and porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus are similar
diseases caused by unrelated alpha-coronaviruses that
destroy the absorptive cells of the intestinal villi. All
ages of swine are susceptible, and mortality can be
high in piglets. Chronic forms can cause piglet losses
for months where sow immunity is low and sanitation
is less than good. The PED virus was reported in the
UK in 1977, in Canada (1980) and afterward across
Europe and Asia. Highly virulent PED virus forms
emerged about 2010. PED virus has mutated rapidly
and immunologically distinct spike variants exist. TGE
produces more severe mortality than PED virus but
is seldom diagnosed presently, while PED virus is
far too common. Cold winter weather aids the spread
of the PED virus and TGE, but both can occur yearround. Diagnosis is made by necropsy, histopathology,

January/February 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com

Read more: Piglet

diarrheas: A common
problem explained,
www.WATTgNet.com/
articles/26520

PCR and simple kits. 
Oral or intraperitoneal electrolytes support the pig,
and antibiotics may be useful for secondary bacterial
infections, but PED virus and TGE treatments are not
satisfying. Immunity that can protect piglets is induced
in sows two to three weeks after oral exposure to PED
virus or TGE, and feedback to sows of intestinal material and feces from pigs in the early stage of the disease
is commonly used for control. The PED virus can be
transmitted by sow milk, and a total sows' herd feedback often results in an uptick in piglet mortality. On
the other hand, failure to induce whole herd immunity
frequently results in nagging losses from protracted
chronic forms. PED virus and classical swine fever are
often concurrent diarrhea causes in CSF endemic areas,
and extremely high piglet losses may result from feedback of CSF virus to sows in such situations.

Controlling piglet diarrhea
General control of piglet diarrhea involves good
sanitation and all-in, all-out management of farrowing. Vaccinate to control E. coli. Reduce routine antibiotic use. Sanitation practices should include use of an
alkaline cleaner (use eye protection!) to remove biofilms
followed by a strong, effective and situation-specific
disinfectant. Keep piglets warm, dry and free from
drafts. Biosecurity practices include sanitation of trucks,
isolation of incoming breeding animals, and changes of
clothing and footwear. Diagnosis is important in preventing and controlling swine diseases and is the first
step to understanding what measures are appropriate. ■

E. Wayne Johnson, DVM, is senior technical
consultant at Enable Ag-Tech Consulting, Beijing,
ewj@pigs.ag.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pig International - January/February 2017

Pig International - January/february 2017
Contents
Managing livestock antibiotic resistance with diagnostics
How to quantify health status in farm animals
6 major piglet diarrhea causes and their management
Boosting piglet immunity with colostrum
Practical grinding guidelines for pig feeds
How to train gilts for electronic sow feeding systems
Fermented liquid pig feed benefits outweigh drawbacks
5 new smart farming pig products from EuroTier
VIV Asia 2017 to represent entire animal protein chain
Pigs and Money
Industry Happenings
Products
Marketplace
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Pig International - January/february 2017
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Contents
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Pigs and Money
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Industry Happenings
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 5 new smart farming pig products from EuroTier
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 5
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 6
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 7
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 8
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 9
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Managing livestock antibiotic resistance with diagnostics
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 11
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 12
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 13
Pig International - January/February 2017 - How to quantify health status in farm animals
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 15
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 6 major piglet diarrhea causes and their management
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 17
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Boosting piglet immunity with colostrum
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 19
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 20
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 21
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 22
Pig International - January/February 2017 - VIV Asia 2017 to represent entire animal protein chain
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Practical grinding guidelines for pig feeds
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 25
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 26
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 27
Pig International - January/February 2017 - How to train gilts for electronic sow feeding systems
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 29
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 30
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 31
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Fermented liquid pig feed benefits outweigh drawbacks
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 33
Pig International - January/February 2017 - 34
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Products
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Marketplace
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Cover3
Pig International - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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