Blue eye disease

It is a viral disease that produces nervous symptoms, reproductive failure and corneal opacity that develops a bluish color.

Alternative names: blue eye disease, BE, paramyxovirus

Information

This viral disease is caused by a paramyxovirus; it has mainly been detected in Mexico, but also in other countries (not in Europe). It causes nervous symptoms and often produces corneal opacity (developing a blue color). This disease is unique to pigs. When it appears in a susceptible breeding farm, the first clinical signs are usually seen in the farrowing rooms.

 

Symptoms

Sows

  • Some animals have bluish eyes.
  • Increase in the rate of returns, which lasts about six months.
  • There may be abortions and stillbirths.

Boars

  • Up to 40% have testicular enlargement; usually unilateral, followed by shrinkage.
  • Loss of fertility.

Lactating piglets

  • They have a hunched posture, and show coarse hair for a short time.
  • They develop acute neurological symptoms.
  • Difficulty in walking, they begin to tremble and sit in abnormal postures.
  • Some are lying on their side, making rowing motions with their legs and they move their eyeballs from side to side.
  • Some Piglets have watery eyes and their eyelids become swollen and sticky.
  • Mortality is up to 90%.
  • It can affect up to 65% of litters.

Nursery and fattening

  • Most young piglets can develop a bluish color of their pupils.
  • The disease slowly disappears spontaneously after several weeks.
  • Piglets of more than 1 month of age or older show milder transient symptoms such as loss of appetite, fever, sneezing and coughing.
  • Neurological symptoms are less frequent.

 

Causes / Contributing Factors

  • Carrier pigs.
  • Nasal dissemination.
  • Mechanic dissemination.

 

Diagnosis

  • In severe / acute outbreaks a presumptive diagnosis can be made based on clinical signs.
  • Confirm diagnosis by serological tests.
  • Isolation of virus from brain tissue.
  • Histopathologic lesions especially in the brain are highly suggestive.

 

Control/Prevention

  • There is no effective treatment.
  • Get replacement animals from negative farms.

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