Atlas of pathology
Where: digestive system, liver
Possible causes: Clostridium novyi
At post mortem examination, with the carcass still warm, there was blood stained fluid in the abdomen and the liver was in advanced decomposition with aeriation (aero chocolate liver). There was a pungent decomposing smell emanating from the abdomen
The condition is due to toxins produced by Cl novyi which is present in the small intestine and ascends the bile duct. There was mild small intestinal inflamation in this animal
The disease is a common if sporadic cause of death in adult sows especially in late gestation in good condition. The disease tends to occur more frequently in warm weather. It can also be seen in finishing pigs close to slaughter especially those fed wet co-products
It can be confirmed by FAT or PCR testing of the liver.
Similar liver changes can be seen at post mortem examination if the animal has been dead for more than 12-18 hours as part ofthe normal decomposition process. The condition should therefore only be diagnosed on the freshest of carcasses.
If necessary a multivalent Clostridial vaccine can be used but attention to feeding hygiene, avoiding excessive sow condition and good control of environmental temperatures can all reduce the risk.