Diseases in pigs where drugs are commonly used
Treatment may be given to sows for metritis, mastitis and for diseases such as erysipelas and leptospirosis. In most indoor herds antibiotic treatment starts soon after birth. Piglets will receive drugs for enteritis and for respiratory disease. From weaning (usually three weeks) all piglets are gathered, mixed and then reared to finishing weights. Weaners usually develop post weaning diarrhoea caused by E. coli which occurs on day three post weaning.
Post-weaning diarrhoea is quickly followed by a range of other diseases. Glässer’s Disease (haemophilus parasuis) occurs at four weeks, pleuropneumonia at six to eight weeks, proliferative enteropathy from six weeks and spirochaetal diarrhoea and colitis at any time from six weeks onwards.
At eight weeks the pigs are termed growers and moved to another house. Here they will develop enzootic pneumonia, streptococcal meningitis (Streptococcus suis) and, possibly, swine dysentery. Respiratory disease may cause problems until slaughter. Quite an indictment of factory farming!