Fast action needed to control Swine Respiratory Disease

The efficient and effective control of Swine Respiratory Disease (SRD) requires fast action from herdsmen and vets, backed by a sound disease management programme, says Merial Animal Health.

“Normally an antibiotic treatment will be required to control SRD, prescribed by the pig unit’s veterinary surgeon,” Merial’s head of livestock business UK and Ireland, Findlay MacBean, told the recent International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS) in Dublin.

“It’s important that the product used reaches the target area in the lungs quickly, ideally within 30 minutes of administration, and stays there for an extended period to minimise tissue damage and resolve the clinical signs of pneumonia. To minimise stress in animals with SRD a low-dose, one-shot treatment is preferable.”

Mr MacBean’s comments followed a reminder that SRD-causing bacteria can affect pigs of any age, with growing pigs being the most affected by the condition and likely to inflict the biggest production loss on farming units.

“SRD remains a significant problem for the pig industry,” he said. “Associated production losses include 30-70% morbidity, a mortality rate of 4-6%, and even higher in severely affected units, decreased feed efficiency and reduced growth rates.

“Reducing such losses from SRD requires an effective disease management programme, ideally involving a suite of preventative measures, including herd health plans, vaccination where appropriate and fast action to control outbreaks.”

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