[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our hypothesis was that pigs that develop post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) are detectable from an early age with signs of weight loss and other clinical and serological abnormalities. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the temporally varying and fixed events linked with the clinical incidence of PMWS by comparing affected and unaffected pigs in a cohort of 178 male piglets. Piglets were enrolled at birth and examined each week. Samples of blood were collected at regular intervals. The exposures measured were porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) antibody titres in all 178 and PCV2 antigen in a subset of 75 piglets. We also observed piglet health and measured their weight, and a post-mortem examination was performed by an external laboratory on all pigs between 6 and 14 weeks of age that died. From the cohort, 14 (8%) pigs died from PMWS and 4% from other causes. A further 37 pigs between 6 and 14 weeks of age died from PMWS (30) and ileitis and other causes (7). PMWS was only apparent in pigs from 1 to 2 weeks before death when they wasted rapidly. There were no other characteristic clinical signs and no obvious gross clinical lesions post-mortem. There was no strong link with PCV2 antibody throughout life but PCV2 antigen level was higher from 4 to 6 weeks of age in pigs that died from PMWS compared with pigs that died from other causes.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 11/2010; 97(2):100-6. · 2.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From observational studies, farmers who use parenteral antibacterials to promptly treat all sheep with footrot (FR) or interdigital dermatitis (ID) have a prevalence of lameness of < 2% compared with a prevalence of 9% lameness reported by farmers who treat lame sheep by trimming affected feet. We tested the hypothesis that prompt treatment of sheep lame with naturally developing FR or ID with parenteral and topical antibacterials reduces the prevalence and incidence of lameness with these conditions compared with less frequent treatment with trimming of hoof horn and applying topical antibacterials.A further hypothesis was that reduction of ID and FR would improve productivity. A lowland sheep flock with 700 ewes was used to test these hypotheses in an 18-month within farm clinical trial with four groups of ewes: two intervention and two control. The duration and severity of lameness was used to categorise sheep into three weighted scores of lameness (WLS): never lame (WLS0), mildly lame/lame for < 6 days (WLS1) and severely or chronically lame (WLS2). The intervention reduced the prevalence of lameness due to FR and ID in ewes and lambs and the incidence of lameness in ewes. The WLS was also significantly lower in sheep in the intervention groups. Ewes with a higher WLS were subsequently significantly more likely to have a body condition score < 2.5 and to have lame lambs. Significantly more ewes lambed and successfully reared more lambs that were ready for slaughter at a younger age in the intervention versus control groups. There was an increase in the gross margin of Pound630/100 ewes mated in the intervention group, including the cost of treatment of Pound150/100 ewes mated. We conclude that prompt parenteral and topical antibacterial treatment of sheep lame with ID and FR reduced the prevalence and incidence of these infectious conditions and led to improved health, welfare and productivity.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 08/2010; 96(1-2):93-103. · 2.39 Impact Factor