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Swine Dysentery (SD)

See chapter 9 for further information.

(291) Swine dysentery is caused by a small snake-like bacterium called Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. This organism causes a severe inflammation of the large intestine with a bloody mucous diarrhoea (i.e. dysentery). It is a major disease in the young growing pig but the breeding female however can become a carrier of the organism for a long period of time and therefore acts as a potential source of infection to the sucking pig. Clinical disease is unusual except where the organism is first introduced into the herd, when a mild sloppy or severe acute dysentery may be seen. In very severe cases the diarrhoea may also extend to the litter. The stress at farrowing can activate disease to produce sloppy "cow pat" faeces which expose piglets to infection.

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