PEDv and Tonisity PxW

June 7, 2022, 12:30 pm

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal (GI) tract damaging the villi on the surface of the small intestine. This reduces the absorptive abilities of the surrounding surface area of the GI tract resulting in fluid loss, diarrhea and dehydration. Effects of this virus are significantly more severe in younger pigs, where it can lead to death in up to 100% of piglets that are less than a week old. While older animals have a higher rate of recovery, their mortality rate is still significant. Those that survive have at least a 10% slower growth rate, while sows can be off their feed for days. PED is a virus that is transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route from pig to pig where it is shed in high volumes for up to nine days as well as through the air, semen and blood plasma. It can even live on surfaces in and out of the barn. With such a high transfer rate, strict biosecurity measures and diligent sanitation practices are the best form of prevention. If a PED breakout does occur, development of immunity for the older animals in the herd is key and can be achieved through deliberate infection of all adult animals at the start of the outbreak. As for the younger animals, it is recommended that those affected pigs be kept warm, dry, and begin an oral electrolyte supplementation programme.

Tonisity has developed an isotonic protein drink for weaned pigs called Tonisity PxW, that is to be given through the water lines in the nursery/wean-finish barn. It is scientifically formulated with Tonisity’s proven bio-actives that boost gut health and have pigs drinking as early as 30 minutes post-arrival to the nursery barn. The formulation of this product targets the gut by nourishing the intestinal cells (enterocytes) which increases gut function, overall nutrient absorption, and improves nutrient uptake into the bloodstream. In recent studies, using Tonisity PxW increased overall water intake 1.7 times more than consumption of plain water, leading to better hydration and earlier start to feed. Creating a foundation for the enterocytes with Tonisity PxW assists pigs in overcoming key hurdles in production and supports them in a smooth transition through the weaning phase.

Recently, an Indiana sow farm had a PED outbreak that swept through the entire farrowing barn. To save as many piglets as possible, about 4,000 piglets were weaned early, which reduced the weaning weights from the usual average of 6kg to 4kg. All pigs were given Tonisity PxW upon arrival to the wean-finish barn which kept water and feed consumption near normal. While some death loss was seen, mortality remained under 10% which is a significant accomplishment compared to what mortality could have been if these extra measures had not been taken. A week after the early-weaning, the wean-finish barn staff reported that feed and water intake remained steady, and they were pleased with the results Tonisity PxW was able to provide given a challenging pig flow environment.

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