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Ileitis: Reduce Risks

When a swine disease strikes, you want helpful information immediately. Fortunately, there’s SOURCE, a systematic approach to disease control, prevention and management using a step-by-step process developed by Boehringer Ingelheim.

The fourth step in the ileitis SOURCE process is “reduce risks.” Because of the high prevalence of ileitis on U.S. swine farms, reducing the risk of ileitis infections can be a challenge. However, there are ways to reduce the disease’s impact, both on health and performance.

Once you’ve reviewed the risks that are associated with ileitis, work closely with your herd veterinarian to develop a customized plan to meet your ileitis management goal.

Disease mangement

  • Vaccination:

Vaccinating pigs for ileitis is a key part of preventing clinical ileitis signs (e.g., diarrhea) and reducing the impact of subclinical signs, such as reduced weight gain and increased variability at market. A modified-live oral vaccine can help build immunity in the intestine, right at the site of infection.

  • Antibiotics:

Feed-grade antibiotics can be a valuable tool for treating clinical ileitis and returning pigs back to a healthy state. Remember, though, that antibiotics are meant as a method of treatment for current infections — not as a preventative measure. Consider using antibiotics as part of a holistic management plan, with vaccination used to control and prevent both clinical and subclinical impacts of ileitis.

  • Diagnostics:

Because diarrhea can be a clinical sign of many enteric diseases — including ileitis, salmonellosis and porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus — diagnostics are helpful when determining what pathogen is present and how to manage disease. Even if you do not have clinical signs, consider conducting diagnostic testing (e.g., semiannually or annually) to confirm correct timing of vaccination based on ileitis exposure on your farm.

Animal movement

  • Pigs that are moved frequently (e.g., show pigs) are at risk for ileitis due to increased exposure to outside animals and added stress on the immune system from movement.
  • Always implement a quarantine period for animals returning to the farm, so as to reduce exposure risk to other pigs.
  • Disinfect trailers and other transportation equipment to reduce pathogen transmission to the next load of pigs.
  • Consider vaccination to boost immunity prior to potential exposure.
  • Always follow biosecurity protocols and best practices.

©2017 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.