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Prevalence of clinical signs of disease in Danish finisher pigs
  1. H. H. Petersen, DVM, PhD1,
  2. E. O. Nielsen, DVM, PhD2,
  3. A-G. Hassing, DVM2,
  4. A. K. Ersbøll, MSc, PhD3 and
  5. J. P. Nielsen, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Swine Medicine, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Dyrlaegevej 88, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  2. 2 National Committee for Pig Production, Danish Bacon and Meat Council, Veterinary and Food Advisory Service, Axeltorv 3, DK-1609 Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3 Department of Large Animal Sciences, Veterinary Epidemiology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Grønnegårdsvej 8, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Professor J. P. Nielsen

Abstract

Between December 1999 and February 2001, two visits, eight weeks apart, were made to 90 herds of Danish finisher pigs. The prevalence of clinical signs was recorded by three veterinary technicians from the Danish Bacon and Meat Council according to a standardised procedure; they had been trained and their observations were monitored and validated before and during the study. A total of 154,347 finisher pigs were examined and 22,136 clinical signs were recorded. Vices accounted for 43 per cent of the signs. The highest mean prevalence was observed for ear necrosis (4·44 per cent), followed by respiratory signs (2·17 per cent), lameness (1·92 per cent), other skin diseases (1·73 per cent), tail bites (1·26 per cent), umbilical hernia (0·78 per cent), flank bites (0·52 per cent), diarrhoea (0·27 per cent), respiratory distress (0·12 per cent), atrophic rhinitis (0·10 per cent), recumbency (0·09 per cent) and central nervous disease (0·05 per cent). The prevalence of atrophic rhinitis was higher in conventional herds than in specific pathogen-free herds. The prevalence of clinical signs of atrophic rhinitis was higher among finishers weighing 51 to 75 kg than among finishers weighing up to 50 kg, and the prevalence of respiratory signs was higher among finishers weighing 51 to 75 kg then among finishers weighing 76 to 100 kg.

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