The Associate Director of the Swine Health Information Center suggests an accurate diagnosis of the cause of diarrhea in pigs is key to formulating the most effective treatment.
The emergence of Porcine sapovirus as a cause of diarrhea in pigs is the focus of a Swine Health Information Center and American Association of Swine Veterinarians webinar recorded in August that can be accessed through swinehealthealth.org.
Swine Health Information Center Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder says the virus was first identified in 1980 in a 27-day old pig with diarrhea in Ohio and, while the virus has been detected for many years, it has only recently been identified as a cause of diarrhea.
Porcine sapovirus causes diarrheal disease in both nursing as well as postweaning pigs. That diarrhea can also cause a reduction in weaning weights and in average daily gain in those young neonatal pigs. This virus causes typically low mortality but high morbidity, meaning that it can spread in a fecal oral manner from pig to pig and again diarrhea is the most common clinical sign.
One of the aspects of the webinar that really came to light was the potential economic loss in weaning weight due to Porcine sapovirus. Approximately one to one and a half pounds in lost weaning weight was reported in Porcine sapovirus affected pigs. That can equate to approximately 22 dollars per sow per year.
Again, when we think about the economics, it’s really important to determine that definitive diagnosis and then implement a strategy along with your veterinarian to reduce the impact of Porcine sapovirus and other diarrheal causing agents.
~ Dr. Megan Niederwerder, Swine Health Information Center
Dr. Niederwerder encourages pork producers to review the webinar and continue to stay diligent on those diagnostics so that we can understand the cause and prevalence of disease in our swine herds.