Atlas of pathology
Where: digestive system
This is a classic example of coccidiosis in pigs due to Isospora suis. It is the most common cause of scour in pigs beyond the second week of life.
If uncomplicated with secondary infection it is rarely fatal but can restrict weaning weights by up to 2.5 kg/pig at weaning. Whilst extensive sampling may find coccidial oocysts in affected herds the most reliable diagnosis is achieved by sacrifice of a newly affected pig with histopthological examination of small intestinal loops fixed in formal saline.
In uncontrolled disease both E coli and rotavirus can complicate primary coccidial infection.
Treatment of affected pigs is often unrewarding with pigs continuing to scour until they are weaned. Post weaning performance can be compromised by both the extensive gut damage and underweight pigs weaned.
The disease is a feature of poor farrowing accommodation hygiene; detergents followed by disinfection will help reduce risk but oocysts are resiliant and can survive despite cleaning.
Subclinical infection and inadequate control may be linked to post weaning failure to thrive due to maldigestion.