Today, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is the most important technical disease in the swine industry for clinical veterinarians and producers alike, and the one which causes the biggest headaches.
There are other political or commercial diseases that can doubtless affect the agricultural economy or can hinder the sale of pork, but the production complications that this syndrome causes are many and are difficult to diagnose. However, sometimes a desperate clinical measure brings an excellent response.
All of us who have had contact with the swine industry at farm level have suffered problems since the appearance of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. Very often, it has surprised us, it has misled us and it has caused us to lose sleep. Its variability, its involvement in other syndromes, its ability to trigger or stimulate other pathogens or simply the fact that it can affect different categories of animals or have tropism for different systems (respiratory or reproductive) make it the most unpredictable and most complicated of diseases.
Sometimes, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome has been the catch-all term behind which we have taken refuge when we have not been given a precise diagnosis or simply when this diagnosis has been multifactorial, multi-age or, as in the present case, at farm level causes an overall reduction in productivity at every level. On this occasion, a group of underperforming farms belonging to an Italian company were vaccinated with a PRRS vaccine without achieving the anticipated results.
The company’s veterinarian took two correct decisions, one was to change the vaccine and the other was to intensify the vaccination programme, not only in the case of pregnant and lactating sows and gilts (the latter being given 3 doses of UNISTRAIN® PRRS before mating). The results after the new programme and the new vaccine had been in use for 9 months were:
1.8 % reduction in the rate of abortions.
1.7 more piglets weaned per sow and per year.
In the case of the piglets:
1.5 % less mortality during lactation.
250 g more per piglet at weaning.
2 more piglets per sow and per year.
1 % less mortality.
10 grams more average daily gain in the fattening period.
, it is undeniable that the return on investment of this operation has enabled the company to grow and for a relationship of trust between the parties to be strengthened.