Rehydration Speeds Up Recovery Among Diarrhea Affected Piglets

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Farmscape for April 15, 2019

A Veterinarian with Goshen Ridge Veterinary Services says pork producers can speed up the recovery of piglets affected by diarrhea by replacing the body salts they are losing.
Most causes of diarrhea in piglets are infectious.
Dr. Sue Burlatschenko, a Veterinarian with Goshen Ridge Veterinary Services, told those on hand last month for the 2019 London Swine Conference death is often a result of dehydration not the actual infection.

Clip-Dr. Sue Burlatschenko-Goshen Ridge Veterinary Services:
When we look at piglets with diarrhea we tend to think it’s an organism and I must treat that but what we tend to forget is what’s happening during the course of the diarrhea. These piglets are actually losing body salts like sodium, potassium, bicarbonates and it’s really affecting their ability to function normally. Although one reaches for an antibiotic, say if it’s an E. coli and we think if we treat them they’ll get better, we can hasten recovery and improve the quality of piglet by replacing those salts that they’re losing. That’s pretty straight forward.
They’ve been around for a long time. With my producers I often advocate for the use of electrolyte replacement solution. That usually comes as a concentrate in a jug that you dilute out or you can buy a powdered solution.
I also stress that you should examine the packaging if you have some there. There are two set of electrolytes.
There’s a stress electrolyte that is used for animals that have been shipped and they are coming into the barn and we often use those to help them adjust to the barn. Those are not the ones you want to use. You want to use what we call replacement electrolytes and those are specifically designed for animals who are having diarrhea episodes.

Dr. Burlatschenko says, in instances where replacement electrolytes are not immediately available, calf replacement electrolytes will work or producers can use can use a World Health Organization recipe which includes one litre of water, eight  teaspoons of sugar, one  teaspoon of table salt and, if desired, flavoring such as Kool-Aid.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Wonderworks Canada Inc

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