Adult pigs have around 800 types of bacteria in their guts, but a piglet is born with none. The piglet is a blank canvas ready to be populated. We want the piglet to get “Friendly Bacteria” (as the yoghurt adverts say!), but if the “Bad Bacteria” get in before the “Friendly Bacteria” then you get diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea in the first days of life (neonatal diarrhoea) will easily kill piglets, they become dehydrated and have blood sugar levels so low they will often just lay down and die. The “Bad Bacteria” we worry about in the first days of life are mainly Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens. We often give antibiotics to treat or stop diarrhoea from happening in piglets, but the problem is the antibiotics will also kill the “Friendly Bacteria” that we really need to make the gut healthy.
Prevention is better than cure!
As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure! After the piglet is born, its gut is populated by bacteria as it suckles the
Preventative steps against Piglet Diarrhoea:
Farrowingenvironment should be extremely clean (You should be happy to eat your sandwiches from the floor!)
- Sows should be kept clean and their faeces removed
sowsagainst Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens
- Make sure piglets get enough colostrum and milk
- Piglet laying areas should be around 32°C and draft free
- Don’t let your or your equipment spread the “Bad Bacteria”
Discuss with your veterinary surgeon the most appropriate vaccine to administer, and review your choice regularly. Gletvax 6 is a Zoetis vaccine that protects against more types of Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens than any other vaccine in the UK. Click here to go to the product factsheet.
Gletvax® 6 contains E. coli and C. perfringensType B, C and D. For the passive protection of piglets by the active immunisation of breeding sows and gilts to prevent neonatal colibacillosis caused by K99 bearing strains of E. coli; to reduce neonatal colibacillosis caused by K88ab, K88ac and 987P bearing strains of E.
For information about side effects, precautions, warnings and