About colibacteriosis in piglets

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The disease colibacteriosis of pigs affects mainly small pigs and is very dangerous for them. This ailment proceeds rapidly, depletes the animal, causes blood poisoning and often leads to rapid death. Fortunately, a sufficiently effective treatment exists, and prevention will help protect livestock farms. We will tell how to recognize and cure the disease, as well as how to prevent its occurrence.

Where does ailment come from and how is it spread

The causative agent of colibacillosis is E. coli from the genus Escherichia, so another name for the disease is Escherichiosis. Piglets almost always get sick due to ETEC, STES, EPEC strains. Most often because of the first.

The infection manifests itself, regardless of the season and affects mainly piglets from birth to 4 months. Babies are especially vulnerable after weaning from a sow. The disease spreads extremely quickly among animals and is capable of hitting hundreds of individuals in a short time.

The source of bacteria are newly recovered or sick animals, as well as carrier pigs. According to statistics, almost all hay sows are carriers and almost half of the remaining adult individuals. In very rare cases, it is possible that the piglets are still infected in the womb.

As a rule, a piglet becomes infected immediately after birth or after a short time, if all sanitary and hygienic precautions are not observed. Also, the pathogen can be spread with dirty items to care for animals, infected insects, clothing staff. The microorganism sometimes gets into the feed of pigs with additives - grain feed, fish, meat and bone meal and meat meal.

What happens to the animal during infection

Bacteria enter the digestive tract of a piglet, actively reproduce in the mucous membrane of the small intestine. At this time, they emit a mass of toxins. Due to the complex biochemical reactions in the intestines of a sick animal, fluid accumulates, and severe diarrhea begins. At the same time the body of a pig loses a large amount of water, vital substances, electrolytes. Acid-base balance is disturbed (acidosis occurs), and over time severe dehydration, shock and death occurs.

Since the newborn piglets have not yet fully formed an organism, and the protective systems are not "turned on" at full capacity, the mortality rate among them reaches 80-100%. Of course, this is in the absence of timely treatment.

In this case, Escherichia can overcome the weakened protection in the intestine and penetrate into the blood, lymph, spread throughout the body. Blood poisoning in this case can kill a pig before the diarrhea begins. Therefore, it is important to call the veterinarian at the first signs of illness in animals - only he can diagnose correctly.

Clinical signs of the disease and its course

Symptoms of colibacillosis in piglets, in general, are typical of intestinal infections. There are three stages of the disease:

  • subacute;
  • acute;
  • super sharp

In any form of the disease, the animal's temperature rises to 40-42 degrees, diarrhea occurs (except for the situation described above with newborn piglets). At the subacute stage, due to severe diarrhea, there is an increase in dehydration.

In the second stage, severe pains in the abdomen and convulsions are added to these symptoms; it can be seen that the piglet's eyeballs sink into the sockets. If serious medical measures are not taken at this stage, death will occur in about three days.

The ultra-sharp stage is accompanied by a sudden and strong temperature jump, coordination is disturbed in the pig, he falls into a coma and dies after 24-48 hours.

Another sign of colibacillosis is the rapid weight loss of the animal due to fluid loss. For a couple of days, a pig can lose up to half its normal weight. At the initial stage, the feces are yellow, the texture is similar to porridge, then acquires a grayish-white color.

The piglets of the already born piglets become aware of this very soon - 2-3 hours after the sow farrowing.

Features of the course of various forms of the disease

There are three forms of the disease: enterotoxemic, enteritic and septic.

When enteritis occurs inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. The piglet develops continuous diarrhea, with the water coming out almost in its purest form.

Septic register in very small piglets and suckers. The illness develops quickly, proceeds sharply, or superstore. Animals refuse to eat, become apathetic, poorly orientated when walking, high temperature rises. This form of the disease often ends in the death of piglets.

The enterotoxemic, or edematous, form has an incubation period of up to 12 hours (but can develop 3 hours after infection). Piglets start to get nervous, do not eat, pull limbs or head, can walk when walking.

In some places, the skin turns pale and bluish - on the ears, limbs, piglet, and abdomen. Most piglets die several hours after the onset of symptoms. More often than others, this form of the disease affects large, well-fed animals.

Changes in the body caused by infection

If the disease is over-constricted, characteristic, visible to the eye, changes do not happen - they do not have time to appear. In other cases, the pallor of the mucous membranes of small piglets, in addition to the gastric mucosa, is reddened, and a gelatinous infiltrate stands out. The mucous membrane of the small intestine is swollen, inflamed and covered with mucus.

Puffiness is observed in the brain tissue of the animal. Pallor and anemia are found in the tissues of the kidneys and liver, and the piglet's spleen has a dark gray tint, it is noticeably enlarged.

In enterotoxemic form, swelling of the entire connective tissue is also recorded. The lymph nodes located in the intestines of the animal are larger than normal, the lungs and brain are swollen, the heart muscle is covered with small hemorrhages, loose to the touch. In the stomach, piglets often find solid content, and in the bronchi and trachea - foamy liquid.

Thus, it is obvious that colibacteriosis of piglets leads to the development of irreversible pathological changes, in which it is impossible to survive.

Confirmation of the diagnosis, unlike other diseases

Escherichiosis should be differentiated from other similar symptoms of illnesses: salmonellosis, dyspepsia, viral gastroenteritis or anaerobic enterotoxemia.

For diagnosis, the bodies, organs or feces of a few pigs are examined, but only those that have not been treated with antibiotics. Laboratory tests are suitable kidneys, liver, gallbladder, heart, spleen, small intestine, stomach, brain, tubular bones of animals. They should be delivered for analysis as soon as possible, not later than 4 hours after the death of the animal.

The bodies of the pigs are sent to the laboratory in waterproof containers, the organs are necessarily in clean containers, and the intestines and stomach are packed separately.

A positive conclusion and the diagnosis of "colibacteriosis" is made by analyzing the incoming organs or bodies, the pathoanatomical changes in them, highlighting E. coli, determining its pathogenicity and strain. The data on the epizootic situation, the state of the economy and the clinical signs of the disease are also taken into account.

What to do if your piglets are sick: the correct treatment

To successfully combat the disease, it is necessary not only to destroy the pathogen, but also to replenish the piglets lost by the body and water, as well as remove toxins.

Be sure to prescribe antibiotics, antibacterial drugs. A good effect is given by ecopcef, amoxycycline, hostamox, cobactan, neopene, but it is best to use chloramphenicol, monomitsin, neomycin. Since piglets are more vulnerable, the dosage for them should be higher than for adult animals.

So, neomycin is prescribed to piglets up to six months at the rate of 30 mg per 1 kg of weight, adults - 20 mg per 1 kg. It is better to use several drugs at once to avoid the resistance of bacteria to one of them.

With antibiotic therapy, the pigs are necessarily injected with the B group vitamins. This is necessary because the drugs kill the Escherichia, depriving them - and therefore the body - of these vitamins.

To replenish water in the body, ringer's solution is injected into the peritoneum or given to drink. Also intraperitoneally, you can enter dufalak (10 ml). Immunomodulatory drugs, for example, Lidium will not be superfluous. Its dosage is 2 ml per kg. Probiotics are also given, for example, Lacto-Sacc or Bio Plus 2B.

From folk methods, decoctions and extracts of oak bark, St. John's wort, as well as yarrow and horse sorrel are used. But they are effective if the pig is older than two weeks.

Immunity in pigs and vaccine use

The more immunoglobulins in the colostrum of sows, the better the passive immunity in newborn piglets.

In order to have as many immunoglobulins as possible, shortly before giving birth, animals are vaccinated. Apply formolthiomersalic polyvalent aluminum hydroxide (GOA) vaccine. It contains as many as nine strains of Escherichia bacteria. Sows are injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously 6-8 weeks before farrowing, then repeat the procedure after two weeks. Dosage - 5 and 6 ml, respectively.

Be sure to vaccinate the pigs before weaning - 20 or 10 days before. Enter in the same way 1.5 and 2 ml.

Polyvalent serum is injected intramuscularly to piglets up to the age of 5 days at a dose of 8 ml. Older injected from 10 to 15 ml.

Non-specific infection prevention in the household

Today, pig breeding, like any other direction of agriculture, requires responsible compliance with the prescribed rules and regulations. So, in the prevention of colibacillosis in piglets, sanitation and hygiene on the farm is of great importance.

Two weeks before giving birth, the disinfected premises where the sow with the piglets will be located are prepared and transferred there. Before that, the pig is washed, limbs are treated with Lysol or formalin (0.5 and 5%, respectively).

In large complexes, they first carry out the usual cleaning of the premises, then wash the most polluted areas with 2% sodium hydroxide solution with a temperature not lower than 70 degrees. You can also use the drug "Demp". Half an hour later, the treatment of the room is completed with a sink.

During the farrowing situation should be sterile. As soon as the sow began to prepare for childbirth, the back of her body is treated with any disinfectant solution.

After farrowing, the pig is washed, the skin and nipples are disinfected. The litter must be replaced with a clean one. Only after that it can be allowed to piglets.

Everything that pigs consume, in addition to sow's milk, must be pasteurized or boiled.

Remember that the best prevention of any diseases in the household is a constant strict observance of sanitary and veterinary standards.

You can find another serious pathology in young stock in the article "Symptoms and treatment of edematous disease in piglets."

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