Main content area

Herd- and litter-level factors associated with the incidence of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in piglets 4-14 days of age

Dewey, C.E., Wittum, T.E., Hurd, H.S., Dargatz, D.A., Hill, G.W.
Swine health and production : the official journal of the American Association of Swine Practitioners 1995 v.3 no.3 pp. 105
piglets, diarrhea, mortality, neonates, sows, vaccination, Escherichia coli, dietary supplements, milk, washing, epidemiology, animal husbandry, farm surveys, United States
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 farrowing crate, and routine use of supplemental milk for piglets. Diarrhea decreased with: all-in-all-out farrowing 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 farrowing crate. Diarrhea mortality decreased with: fostering piglets out of the litter at 1-3 days, using supplemental iron, using a hired manager in the farrowing 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, farrowing 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.