Update: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
In recent weeks the number of new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among Minnesota turkey flocks has exploded. The virus isolated from these cases is identified by its subtype, an H5N2, and is called 'highly pathogenic' because of the severity of disease it causes in susceptible avian species. From an epidemiologic standpoint, it looks as though this virus is maintained among wild bird populations. These birds don't get sick from infection. As these wild birds have moved north along common migration pathways, viral transmission has occurred. In birds, influenza virus is typically shed through the gut and the current thought is that infected poultry flocks have been the result of physical movement of virus directly into barns.
Information on HPAI in Minnesota can be accessed at https://www.bah.state.mn.us/avian-influenza
Warmer weather will soon be upon us and with this comes an increased risk of Erysipelas breaks in our swine herds. Erysipelas can still affect pigs in textbook fashion causing an acute onset of 'diamond-skin lesions', fever, septicemia and mortality.
Alternatively, Erysipelas can also be a chronic disease, defined by arthritis and lameness with sporadic mortality.
Losses due to Erysipelas can be costly. It is recommended for pigs that will be in finishing from approximately June through September that a booster dose of Erysipelas vaccine be administered above the routine program that is already in place. It is also a good time to review current practices for Erysipelas protection in your sow herd with your Swine Vet Center veterinarian.
Post-Mortem Exam an Important Part of Diagnosing Sudden Nursery Mortality
The list of possible causes of sudden mortality in nursery-aged pigs is relatively short. We often call the quick death of a seemingly good pig in the nursery 'strep' or associate it with some other bacterial cause. Although in some cases this is a correct diagnosis, post-mortem examination often reminds us that the cause of mortality isn't always what we assume it to be.
For example, because treatments are quite different in the example of bacterial septicemia vs. mulberry heart, it's important to complete a post-mortem assessment of nursery mortality so that a correct treatment decision can be made.
Pork is becoming a staple of sporting events across the country. According to The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council it is estimated that baseball fans will consume almost 19-million hot dogs and over 4-million sausages during the 2015 major league baseball season. Recognized annually as two of the top concessions at major league ballparks, that is enough hot dogs and sausage to lay end to end from Philadelphia to Phoenix, or more than 2300 miles!