Controlling an outbreak of exudative epidermitis after weaning.
Photograph 1. Piglets with exudative epidermitis.
At the farm La Balcona (Barcelona, Spain) we made an easier shared lactation between litters by raising the fences that divide the farrowing pens a week before weaning. Although there were fights between the piglets, they fought with a lower frequency in comparison with the usual system, so the wounds did not evolve towards serious lesions, as in the case of the typical outbreak of exudative epidermitis.
Photos 2 and 3. Raising of the gates between two different farrowing pens to allow joint lactations.
We all know how insidious and financially expensive an exudative epidermitis outbreak can become. In our case, the outbreak started after a PRRS outbreak and it coincided with a higher percentage of gilts' farrowings than normal.
The antibiotic treatments at weaning only delayed the outbreak. After many relapses we chose to mix the piglets for a joint/shared lactation.
Supplementary measures applied:
• Cleaning of the sows' udders with a detergent solution when they enter the farrowing quarters.
• Administering of a broad spectrum and long-lasting antibiotic to all the piglets when weaned.
• Cleaning of the piglets with a detergent solution when weaned and before mixing them.
• If possible, house together all the piglets born to the gilts in the same nursery pen (not all the farrowing quarters are the same, and in some of them we were not able to raise the fences).
Thanks to these measures that problem is currently under control.