ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide
Epe is present in most if not all herds but the mechanisms which allow it to become pathogenic and produce disease in some populations and not in others are unknown. The incidence of disease is low.
- Affected sows are inappetent with fever 40-42?C (105-107?F) when high numbers of organisms are present in the blood. This clinical picture is often seen after farrowing.
- Increased respiration.
- Pale skin
- No milk - agalactia.
- Sows become debilitated and pale with jaundice.
- Poor conception, repeat matings and anoestrus.
- Delayed returns to oestrus.
- Bleeding into tissues.
- Thin sows.
- Reduced conception rates.
- Pale skin
- No milk -agalactia.
- In severe cases jaundice may result.
- Secondary infections tend to occur.
- More chronic cases result in slow growth and poor-doing pigs.
- Pale and anaemic pigs.
- Increased scour (sloppy diarrhoea).
The clinical picture varies:
- In weaners the acute disease is manifest by primary anaemia.
- In growers it leads to slow growth and poor-doing pigs.
- The presence of anaemic and possibly slightly yellow-skinned recently weaned pigs.
- Pale pigs.
- Slow or variable growth.
- Ear necrosis.
- Enteritis - sloppy diarrhoea.
- Poor pigs, wasting, hairy.
- Pot bellied pigs.
Causes / Contributing factors
- Biting insects.
- Internal parasites
- Lice or mange mites.
- Cannibalism / vice (Abnormal behaviour).
- Sows method of spread:
- Vaccinating sows with the same needle.
- Tagging gilts.
- Feeding placenta or farrowing house material.
- Vulval and tail biting etc.
- Piglets - method of spread:
- Tailing, tooth clipping and iron injections.
- Weaners & Growers method of spread
- Tail biting and other vices.
DiagnosisIn trying to arrive at a diagnosis, the following should be considered.
- The clinical picture.
- The identification of the organism in blood smears stained with Wright's stain. Fifty microscopic fields should be examined before a negative diagnosis is arrived at. The presence of Epe in a smear need not necessarily imply disease.
- Serological tests, including an ELISA, are still unreliable but are being improved.
- Evidence of other causes of anaemia (e.g. iron/copper deficiency).
- Examination of blood samples for packed cell volume and haemoglobin levels.
- Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia.
- Chronic respiratory disease complexes with PRRS and influenza.
- Gl?ssers disease - Haemophilus parasuis.
- Leptospirosis (L. icterohaemorrhagiae).
- Malabsorption and chronic enteritis.
- Pale piglet syndrome - haemorrhages.
- Porcine enteropathy (PE, NE, PHE and PIA).
- Post weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS)
- Other causes of anaemia (e.g. Iron / copper deficiency).