Heat after damp means pig risks

11 July 1997

Heat after damp means pig risks

HIGH temperatures following wet weather have created ideal conditions for erysipelas in outdoor pigs.

The disease, caused by a soil-dwelling bacteria, is most active in moist soil at temperatures over 10C (50F), explains independent vet consultant Tony Andrews

He recommends all outdoor producers to vaccinate breeding herds and remember that a booster jab is needed annually."Indoor producers must also be watchful for symptoms which include a raised temperature of 104-105F, a characteristic diamond-shaped swelling on the skin and sudden death.

"The bacteria can also isolate in the heart valves causing respiratory difficulties or they may isolate in the joints causing arthritis," says Dr Andrews.

While treatment with penicillin is effective within hours, Dr Andrews advises continuing treatment for the prescribed course to prevent the disease recurring.

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