The Ontario Animal Health Network is alerting hog farmers that there has been a marked increase in cases of erysipelas in Quebec and Ontario.
The bacterial infection shows up as red skin blotches. It can be deadly to young pigs.
Chronic disease causes pigs to have arthritis that leads to stiffness and swelling of joints. This affects growth rates and is responsible for significant losses in prime cuts at packing plants.
Clinical signs tend to worsen when combined with other infections as well as with overcrowding and other environmental stressors.
The bacteria can be killed by penicillin and usually by tetracycline and common disinfectants.
It’s resistant to neomycin, streptomycin and sulphonamides.
There usually is marked improvement within 24 hours of beginning treatment,
Herd health management and implementing a vaccination program are the recommended control measures. Veterinarians can set up a vaccination program.
When I was a lad, we successfully treated infected pigs by adding some zinc to their feed.