By Farmers Weekly staff

TWO pig diseases, both with devastating financial consequences, appear to be on the increase, according to a report in the Vet Record.

The diseases are porcine dermatitis nephropathy syndrome (PDNS) and post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PWMS).

The report says incidences of both diseases have been escalating in recent months, with an upsurge of PDNS in breeder/finisher units in south east England.

Problems with this disease are two-fold, it says.

It is not only PDNS itself, which can lead to 10% post-weaning mortality, but its clinical similarities with swine fever which are causing concern.

Independent vet consultant Tony Andrews said it was impossible to differentiate between the two diseases.

Samples must be sent off for diagnosis, because swine fever is notifiable.

This means a farm has to be shut down until results establish the diseases character.

“While the disease is investigated, a fattening unit will be unable to sell pigs for a week or so, before results are known.

” This can have a devastating financial impact, he adds.

The other disease – PMWS – is described by Vet Record as a new condition which also seems to be emerging in south-east England.

“We dont know how common it is. Vets are just not on farms as much as they were because pig units are in meltdown,” says Dr Andrews.

However, it is clear PMWS causes devastating economic impact in affected herds.

It is normally contracted by pigs between six and 12 weeks of age, causing high mortality in litters and weight loss in piglets.