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10 Prevention plan created

Now, what do you do to get ahead of this thing?  It’s two days later and you drive up to Charlie’s house. 

Charlie greets you with a cup of coffee.  “That East barn still looks a little rough, but they’re coming around.  Wish we could have avoided that.  We won’t be able to do any better than 25% mortality on that group now.  That’s a lot of dead pigs.”

You sit down at the kitchen table and look for a blank piece of paper.  “Charlie, I don’t know how the bug got into that barn, but it’s there now and it’s probably going to make its way over to the other barn on the next turn.  I’ve seen it many times and I’ll tell you everything I know to control it.”  You get your pen out, “Let’s draw this thing out so we can see what our options are.” 

Before you get any further, Charlie interrupts, “I think we’ve got the answer.  Why don’t I just hit them hard with those same drugs, just earlier so they never get sick?” 

What a teachable moment.  You take Charlie through your experience with other E. coli strains that developed resistance very quickly.  You bring up the concept of ‘judicious use of antimicrobial agents’ and the increased cost of having to rely on antimicrobial agents to control disease when other strategies would be less expensive and more effective.

There are a lot of things we could try…

  • Vaccinate for F18 E. coli
  • Improve the sanitation
  • Improve the ventilation
  • Install non-humid zone heating
  • Carefully use antimicrobial agents
  • Sustain the zinc level in the feed longer
  • Treat any concurrent disease (i.e., PRRS, Salmonella, Rotavirus)
  • Assure water quality,
  • Use disposable-compostable floor mats
  • Try specialty feed additives (for example, antibodies from eggs).

 

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