Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Disease caution for hog-farm workers

The Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph is cautioning people who work with pigs to beware of catching leptospirosis, a disease that can pass between pigs and people.

Lab technicians identified three suspected cases of Leptospirosis at the Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) at the University of Guelph between July and September, the lab said in a news release.

At AHL, the infected sows had late-term abortions or delivered litters of mostly stillborn piglets.

The lab advises farmers to draw blood samples for analysis if their sows have more abortions of stillbirths. The lab will help producers to identify which animals ought to be tested.

“An entire aborted litter can be frozen and submitted to the lab,” says the report from the Ontario Animal Health Network.

If test results confirm that an animal is infected with Leptospirosis, veterinarians may recommend treating swine with oxytetracycline or chlorotetracycline, said Christa Arsenault of the animal health network.

“These antibiotics can be prescribed to be included in the feed to treat a group of animals or as an injectable given to individual animals,” she said.

“Treatment can assist with controlling the spread of infection within a swine herd.”

Producers may also want to consider prevention strategies, such as “ensuring that a commercially approved vaccine is given routinely to both gilts and sows at the time of re-breeding,” she said.

“Rodent control is also an important component to the prevention of Leptospirosis.”