A pig with a cough is not a simple creature. A pig with a cough can have one, two, three or more diseases! One of the keys to solving the coughing pig is controlling Enzootic Pneumonia, which is the caused by a bacterium called Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MH).
In a pig’s lungs (and in fact in our lungs!) there are cells which look like hairs. These “hair like” cells beat rhythmically to sweep the mucus, bacteria, viruses and dust out of the airways. The MH bacteria stick the “hair like” cells together in clumps so they can’t beat properly. This means when a pig breathes in a new disease, it’s not swept out straight away, and when a pig becomes infected the mucus produced is not swept out. This makes the pig cough, and when it coughs it doesn’t eat as much, and it doesn’t grow as much.
If you can control MH you help control coughing. So how can you achieve this? The best way is to completely get rid of MH, but this is very difficult unless you depopulate your unit, or do an expensive medicated eradication program. The next best option is an effective vaccination policy. A good vaccination programme reduces lung damage caused by MH and reduces coughing.
IMPLEMENTING YOUR VACCINATION PROGRAMME
1. Choose a good MH vaccine
2. Ensure your cold chain is reliable (delivery, fridge for storage etc.)
3. Follow vaccine datasheet: appropriate temperature, time of vaccination, dose etc.
4. Ensure vaccinating staff have a good technique - make sure EVERY pig is getting its FULL dose!
For further information please see the product’s SPC or please contact your veterinary surgeon or Zoetis UK Limited, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7NS. www.zoetis.co.uk Customer Support: 0845 300 8034. Use medicines responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible). Date of preparation: February 2017.
Laura graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2009; after her veterinary degree she went to the University of Nottingham to undertake a PhD specialising in enteric disease of the young pig. After being awarded her PhD Laura spent a very enjoyable three years in a specialist pig practice in the South West of England. She then took the leap into Industry and joined the Zoetis pig team in September 2016.
She decided on specialising in pigs before qualifying as a vet and has not looked back since; she is very passionate about welfare and the success of British Pig Farming!
In her free time Laura is also passionate about good food and wine, fortunately the eating and drinking is balanced out by the love of walking, trips to the gym and Sunday morning runs.