Herd- and litter-level factors associated with the incidence of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in piglets 4-14 days of age
Catherine E. Dewey, DVM, PhD;Thomas E.Wittum, PhD; H. Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD; David A. Dargatz, DVM, PhD; and George W. Hill, MS
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We used National Swine Survey data collected by the National Animal Health Monitoring System to identify litter and herd factors associated with the risk of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in 4- to 14-day-old piglets.A total of 29,843 litters from 708 herds monitored for producer-observed health events were included. The rate of diarrhea among 4- to 14- day-old pigs was one case per day per 250 piglets. Diarrhea mortality averaged one death every 2-4 days for 250 pigs. Diarrhea increased with: herd size, sow health problems, deworming sows in the harrowing crate, and routine use of supplemental milk for piglets. Diarrhea decreased with: all-in-all-out harrowing rooms, washing sows, TGE-free herd status, and vaccinating sows against Escherichia coli. Diarrhea mortality increased with: litter size, sow health problems, fostering piglets at 4-14 days of age, and sow mange/lice treatment while in the harrowing crate. Diarrhea mortality decreased with: fostering piglets out of the litter at 1-3 days, using supplemental iron, using a hired manager in the harrowing facility, and E. coli vaccination. The factors not associated with diarrhea morbidity and mortality included: vaccinating piglets, clipping teeth, docking tails, feeding the sow antibiotics, harrowing problems, operation type, supplemental creep feed, vaccinating sows against TGE or rotavirus, treating navels, facility type, and using a consultant such as a veterinarian, nutritionist, or extension agent. We conclude that vaccinating sows for E.coli and fostering piglets off sick sows are expected to decrease preweaning losses due to diarrhea in 4- to 14-day-old pigs.
Keywords: diarrhea, piglets, Escherichia coli, fostering
Cite as: Dewey CE. Herd- and litter-level factors associated with the incidence of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in piglets 4-14 days of age. J Swine Health Prod 1995;3(3):105-112.
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