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Sundberg: Ramping up African swine fever preparedness and prevention
The Swine Health Information Center is trying to close the window on African swine fever (ASF) so the virus doesn’t get into North America, said Paul Sundberg, DVM, executive director of the organization. In addition to a comprehensive biosecurity review, “We’re doing real-time research in Vietnam as the ASF outbreak happens,” Sundberg said. “If it gets here, we’ll be better prepared to respond to it.”
Johnson: Five steps for porcine circovirus control
Some breed-to-wean farms that have been vaccinated for porcine circovirus (PCV) have experienced breakdowns in their control of the virus. “We’ve seen disease consequences that we didn’t expect in well-managed populations,” Clayton Johnson, DVM, told Pig Health Today. Here he outlines his top five steps for managing PCV outbreaks.
Early identification critical in preventing sow lameness
Sow lameness continues to trouble hog operations in the US, causing high numbers of involuntary removals from herds. These expensive sow removals can be reduced by identifying lameness issues early and addressing equipment hazards that lead to sow injuries, reported Michael Pierdon, VMD, Four Star Veterinary Service, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
Combat seasonal infertility with strong husbandry
Seasonal infertility continues to be a widespread problem for sow herds across the US. And if you don’t have a problem with seasonal infertility, it may mean you are not recognizing it, reported Daniel Gascho, DVM, with the Four Star Veterinary Service office in Mexico, Indiana.
Gascho offers several suggestions for recognizing and dealing with seasonal drops in fertility that occur in late summer and early fall but may not be noticed until winter.
Why it pays to conduct regular water-quality checkups
Water is as important for the growth and health of pigs as feed. As such, it makes sense to test a hog unit’s water just as frequently as the feed, according to Jim Kober, DVM, water quality-consultant, Holland, Michigan.
But water testing often doesn’t occur until a problem like reduced pig performance develops. An investment in regular water tests to spot problems early can save time and money for the farm. Kober offers recommendations for the water tests.
Connor: Cautious optimism in future management of ASF
African swine fever (AFS) has not been diagnosed in the US, but many industry experts feel its arrival is inevitable. The disease has continued its steady, insidious spread in other parts of the world, but the fact that the US has remained free of the virus to-date has given veterinarians a window of opportunity.
I own a small pig farm so not everything talked about necessarily applies to me but it is good to learn about things I may one day face.