Ascarid infection and respiratory health in feeder pigs raised on pasture or in confinement.
Rika Jolie, DVM, MSc; Lennart Bäckström, DVM, PhD; Rhonda Pinckney, DVM, PhD; Linda Olson, DVM
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Objective: To investigate the effects of respiratory disease, ascarid infection, and anthelmintic treatment in pasture-raised feeder pigs.
Method: In field study 1 (FS 1), 30 indoor and 30 outdoor pigs from three different herds were selected at 3 weeks of age, euthanized, and necropsied at 7-10 weeks of age. Pigs were weighed at necropsy, and liver and respiratory tracts were examined. Average daily gain was calculated based on an assumed 3-lb average starting weight. Blood samples were collected for cell differentials. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was examined for cell differentials, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and procoagulant activity (PCA). These procedures were repeated in field study 2 (FS2) for herd 1 only, except that 12 indoor and 12 outdoor pigs were selected and treated with anthelmintics to control ascarids.
Results: Outdoor pigs had a significantly higher ADG, ascarid liver score, PCA, and LDH compared to indoor pigs. In the outdoor pigs, eosinophilia was present in BALF and blood. No changes due to ascarid infection were found in BALF and blood of indoor pigs. Despite the anthelmintic treatment, results in FS2 were similar to those in FS1.
Implications: Average daily gain was improved in outdoor pigs compared to indoor pigs despite the infections in outdoor pigs with Ascaris suum.
Keywords: pasture, Ascaris suum, anthelmintics
Cite as: Jolie R, Bäckström L, Pinckney R, et al. Ascarid infection and respiratory health in feeder pigs raised on pasture or in confinement.. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(3):115-120.
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