Pig International - November 2017 - 16
16 ❙ PigInternational
MASTITIS IN SOWS
Mastitis in sows: Why, how and what to do
Damage to teat
Previous mastitis, piglet
trauma or injury
Maintain housing, consider teeth
grinding or clipping
Wet bedding or build up of feces
Change bedding source. Ensure farrowing areas
are clean and dry. Remove sow feces regularly.
Poor lying habits
Poor housing design or
Check floor surfaces and drainage.
Maintain environmental control
equipment and keep records.
Constipation, inappropriate diet
Make sure feed intake is not too high, diet
contains roughage and drinking is encouraged.
Water, bedding, feces
Maintain a high level of hygiene
and check water quality.
Damage to udder
Check udders regularly at farrowing,
weaning and before service.
Sudden changes, unsuitable
environment or rough handling
Make sure that management of the pregnant
and lactating sow minimizes fear or excitement.
There are a number of practical steps producers can take to reduce the likelihood of sows developing mastitis.
by flies. Wallowing does help create a physical barrier, so producers should be vigilant in warm weather
that wallows don't dry up. "For indoor herds, fly control should be a top priority, particularly in the summer," said Webster.
In terms of bacterial control, Webster highlighted the importance using good quality bedding.
"Use the best products available for sow and piglet housing; if bedding is damp or poorly produced, it can harbor
microorganisms. Klebsiella is usually associated with
wood shavings so if this organism is a problem on a unit,
either change the source or I would recommend using
shredded paper or chopped straw - if the slurry system
can cope with this," she explained. End-of-season straw
that has been poorly stored can also cause problems.
Hygiene in the sow's environment is key to controlling
bacteria and preventing infections. The integrity of the flooring
itself is also important as poor surfaces can cause traumatic
injury, allowing bacteria into the mammary glands. "The other
common damage to teats is from piglets teeth, which is why
teeth clipping or grinding is a consideration. If there is a regular problem via this route, it is justified to employ one of these
methods in the first few days of a piglet's life," said Webster.
Read more: 12 tips for
Diagnosis and treatment
While there are a lot of risk factors that producers can
help to manage, the most important thing is to ensure
early diagnosis. "Milk samples can be taken from the affected glands in order to culture microorganisms. When
investigating cases of mastitis, identifying the sources of
infection is important. From that you can devise a targeted
control plan," said Webster. It may also be advisable to
test the water source and bedding.
Determining antibiotic sensitivity can be useful for
future cases. However, individual treatment of affected
animals should begin immediately. Even if the sow is successfully treated, serious infections will reduce milk production. "Supplementary milk should be given to piglets
but if they are very young they may need to be fostered
straight away," she added.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ November/December 2017