Erysipelas in pigs is a common disease, the outbreak of which is usually recorded in the warm season. Pathology is dangerous not only for animals, but also for humans. It spreads quickly enough and can cause the death of the entire livestock. The causative agent of pathology is resistant to environmental conditions.
The causative agent of erysipelas
Erysipelas belongs to the group of infectious natural focal diseases. May occur acutely or chronically. This disease usually affects individuals aged 3 to 12 months.
The development of erysipelas is caused by the bacterium Erisipelotrix insidiosis. This pathogenic microorganism is found everywhere and adapts to any living conditions, characterized by increased resistance.
The pathogen remains active in pig products for up to 40 days, in slurry - up to 290 days. In the corpses of animals buried in the ground, the bacterium remains active for 10-12 months.
Processing methods for infected pork such as smoking and salting do not kill the pathogen. It dies only at high temperatures (70 degrees or more). Low temperatures within -7 ÷ 15 degrees do not contribute to the disinfection of the pathogen.
Erisipelotrix insidiosis is sensitive to disinfectants. For disinfection use a solution of bleach (10%), a solution of sodium hydroxide (2-3%), freshly slaked lime (20%).
Sources of infection
The pathogenic bacterium that causes the development of erysipelas in pigs is transmitted from sick animals that secrete it into the environment along with feces and urine. It is stored for a long time in the ground, manure, and corpses of pigs.
Also, infection occurs through food, water, items used to care for pigs and cleaning the premises in which they are located.
The main route of transmission of erysipelas is alimentary (fecal-oral).
In a small village or within the pigsty, the carriers of bacteria can be flies that feed on the blood of sick animals with erysipelas. Mice also act as carriers.
The piglets fed by the sow are resistant to this disease, since colostral immunity is transmitted to them along with colostrum.
The clinical picture of pathology
Erysipelas in pigs is distributed mainly in the spring-summer period, with an increased level of humidity.
The incubation period of an infectious disease lasts from 1 to 8 days. Symptoms depend on the form in which erysipelas occurs.
The fulminant course of erysipelas in pigs is rare and culminates in the inevitable death of infected individuals. In this case, such manifestations are observed:
- increase in body temperature to 41 degrees;
- general depression;
- heart rhythm disturbance;
- refusal of feed.
Treatment in this case is useless: approximately 12 hours after the appearance of the first symptoms of erysipelas, the animal dies.
The acute form of the disease is expressed in such signs:
- increase in body temperature to 42-43 degrees;
- refusal of food;
- labored breathing;
- constant thirst;
- general weakness;
- labored breathing;
- violation of the activity of the heart muscle;
- constipation, followed by diarrhea.
In pigs that suffer from erysipelas in an acute form, the skin in the neck and chest area turns blue, erythema spots of pale pink color form on the sides. Animals move with difficulty, often lie in one place.
The acute form of erysipelas in pigs lasts 2-4 days and in most cases ends with the death of animals.
The subacute course of erysipelas is characterized by the following features:
- temperature increase to 41 degrees;
- general weakness;
- severe thirst;
- refusal of feed;
- the formation of inflammatory swelling that appears on the neck, head, sides, back. This usually occurs on the second day of the disease, swelling sites have a characteristic shape - rectangular, square, diamond-shaped. When these formations appear on the skin, the condition of the sick animal improves somewhat.
The subacute form of erysipelas in pigs lasts a week, in some cases up to 12 days. With timely treatment, the disease ends with the recovery of the sick individual.
The chronic form of erysipelas in pigs is observed in case of failure to provide assistance to a sick individual at the initial stage of the pathological process. With a chronic infection in animals, the following symptoms are observed:
- heart palpitations;
- developmental delay;
- deformation of the joints, their swelling and pain;
- necrosis of the skin;
- atrophy of the muscles of the limbs;
- lameness, difficulty in moving.
Chronic erysipelas infection in pigs is rare. It can be characterized by the absence of symptoms for a long time. The disease has two options for resolution: death or recovery.
I give birth to pigs on the basis of such manipulations as:
- bacteriological examination, which includes microscopy of smears, fingerprints, bioassay, isolation of a pure pathogen culture from the taken material that causes the development of erysipelas
- agglutination reaction;
- identification of pathological changes.
The diagnosis is considered established if the pathogen of erysipelas is detected by microscopy, isolated from the pathological material cultures with properties that are characteristic of the causative agent of erysipelas, as well as if pathogen cultures were isolated from the organs of dead animals.
After confirming the diagnosis, treatment is started as soon as possible.
Treatment of erysipelas in pigs
When an outbreak occurs, restrictive measures must be introduced. In this case:
- the export of animals and meat from feed from the point where an outbreak of an infectious disease was recorded is prohibited;
- sick animals are isolated and treatment begins;
- conditionally healthy pigs without clinical symptoms of the disease are vaccinated and monitored over a decade.
Restrictions are removed only 2 weeks after the complete recovery of all animals.
Treatment of pigs with an erysipelatous disease is carried out in the following ways:
- The introduction of the vaccine. A substance against erysipelas is administered to all animals with suspicion of this disease. The serum is administered intramuscularly. The dosage depends on the weight of the pig. Re-vaccination is carried out 12 hours after the first injection, then once a day for a week.
- The introduction of antibiotics. The action of serum is supported by antibacterial drugs of the penicillin group. Sick pigs are injected intramuscularly with drugs such as Bicillin-3 and Bicillin-5. Also, in porcine erysipelas, the administration of the penicillin potassium salt is indicated. The drugs are diluted with saline and administered once every 12 hours.
- Drugs to eliminate the symptoms of the disease. Sick animals are given heart and laxative drugs. If pigs experience incessant vomiting, they are given metoclopramide. At high temperature, Papaverine or Analgin is administered.
- When skin swelling or spots appear, compresses are recommended. The simplest, but at the same time effective way of suppressing symptoms is applying an vinegar compress. 1 liter of 9% vinegar should be diluted in 10 liters of water, soaked in a solution of tissue and wrap a sick animal with it.
- In case of strong tumors, it is recommended to sprinkle the affected area with chalk crushed into powder, and lay a layer of dense tissue on top, to dress.
The duration of treatment for erysipelas in pigs is 5-7 days.
The prognosis of an erysipelatous disease in pigs depends on the form in which it occurs.
The most favorable outcome can be expected with a subacute form of the disease, if treatment was started in a timely manner.
Untimely initiated or poor-quality treatment of this infection leads to its transition to a chronic form of the course. If this happens, then systemic damage to the joints is observed, and this affects the mobility of animals.
The chronic form is not treatable: an animal suffering from a disease with such characteristics becomes unsuitable for further breeding and feeding.
To prevent the possibility of the development of an infectious process among pigs, it is necessary to observe the following preventive measures:
- mandatory vaccination of piglets;
- comply with the vaccination regimen;
- purchase only healthy animals from proven livestock farms;
- keep newly arrived animals in quarantine for at least a month;
- when caring for animals and in the process of feeding, observe all sanitary and hygienic and technological requirements;
- regularly clean rooms containing pigs;
- organize the diet of animals in such a way that the nutrition is balanced, contains all the necessary trace elements and nutrients;
- strictly follow the rules for slaughtering pigs and disposing of waste afterwards;
- disinfect food and slaughter waste, which are used as additives in food for pigs;
- timely conduct activities aimed at the destruction of microbes, insects and rodents that are carriers of dangerous diseases.
Animals need to ensure full living conditions: optimal temperature, humidity, cleanliness in the room, sterility of drinkers and containers for food.
Vaccination of pigs from erysipelas is a prerequisite for the prevention of the development of an infectious process among livestock.
The vaccine against erysipelas, according to the vaccination plan, is given to piglets aged 60-70 days. Re-introduction of the vaccine is carried out at the age of 72-84 days, then - 100-115 days. Adults need revaccination every 5 months.
Against this infectious disease, drugs such as the deposited vaccine against swine erysipelas or the vaccine against swine erysipelas from strain BP-2 are used.
The injection technique depends on the age of the animals:
- for small piglets that are fed, an injection is injected subcutaneously into a triangle behind the ear, and the drug can also be injected subcutaneously into the inner thigh;
- after weaning, pigs can be injected intramuscularly into the neck behind the ear;
- In older animals, the vaccine is administered intramuscularly in the thigh.
What vaccines for erysipelas of pigs exist and how to properly vaccinate are described in this video:
Erysipelas in pigs is an infectious disease that poses a danger not only to animals, but also to humans. The causative agent of the disease is resistant to environmental conditions and is able to persist in the bodies of dead pigs. The best way to prevent this disease is timely vaccination.