New option for controlling sow health challenges

Control swine respiratory disease and ileitis in females intended for breeding.

In an industry where health challenges can determine the difference between profitability and loss, why not use a treatment that is effective against important pathogens and is administered efficiently?

Sows are the bedrock of the pork supply chain, and their longevity directly affects a farm’s ability to stay in business. However, the pathogens that cause both swine respiratory disease (SRD) and porcine proliferative enteritis (PPE, ileitis) taunt pork producers.

“Illness in a sow isn’t a matter of getting her recovered to perform for a few months; it’s a matter of her being able to perform for years. So, if she does fall ill with SRD or ileitis, it’s crucial to get her treated as soon as possible before lung or intestinal lesions can form,” Pharmgate Technical Service Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Okones.

Using a water-soluble antibiotic is just the way to do it, he says.

Why water?

Antibiotics administered via water are beneficial due to their speed, flexibility and effectiveness, says Dr. Okones.

Water-soluble medications answer the call effectively and efficiently because one person can provide relief to an entire barn and one medication can quickly combat targeted pathogens.

Antibiotics delivered via water as a route of administration (ROA) have increased by 4% from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, water as a ROA represented 30% of antibiotic administration.[1]

“Most sows will continue to drink water after they have stopped eating, so using water-soluble antibiotics can provide rapid relief for multiple pathogens,” says Dr. Okones. “Even healthy pigs consume twice as much water as feed, making water the ideal channel for delivering antibiotics.”

Dr. Luke Strehle, veterinarian at Nebraska Vet Services, reaches for Aivlosin® Water Soluble Granules (WSG) (62.5% w/w/ Tylvalosin as Tylvalosin Tartrate) because of its fast-acting relief.


“When we’re going to be using medicine, we want to get it into the animals as soon as possible and water is the best way to go for that,” he says. “When using a prescription product as compared to a veterinary feed directive, there is one less line of communication needed to get it delivered and into pigs.”

Water-soluble antibiotics are practical for controlling many pathogens

In addition to efficient administration, water-soluble antibiotics are effective against many different pathogens and thus have plenty of practical applications.

Dr. Strehle adds, “When you’re looking at a drug like Aivlosin and its ability to target enteric pathogens like Lawsonia intracellularis, respiratory pathogens like Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and other agents, even in the face of a viral challenge, it truly does fit the bill of being a broad-spectrum antibiotic.”

Dr. Nate Winkelman, president and co-owner of Swine Services Unlimited, says ileitis can affect developing gilts and young sows in both clinical and subclinical cases. Clinical ileitis can be life or death and needs to be treated as quickly as possible. He recommends doing that with water medication.

A subclinical case also needs to be treated quickly to reduce the number of intestinal lesions Lawsonia intracellularis creates, which rob the animal of nutrients. Being able to treat a whole pen of females with water medication helps them keep their feed resources geared for reproduction instead of immunity.

Water-soluble antibiotics can also be useful in an M. hyo elimination. Dr. Amy Maschhoff, director of health and animal care for The Maschhoffs LLC, says giving an antimicrobial to the whole herd during an M. hyo elimination is incredibly helpful.

Additionally, the choice of antibiotics may help with efficiency. For instance, if a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus closure is at the same time, she says, you likely won’t want to use needles. PRRS is a bloodborne pathogen, so needles would have to be exchanged for each animal. In those cases, a water-soluble option might be more effective and efficient.

Aivlosin® WSG is approved for control of SRD associated with Bordetella bronchiseptica, Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis, Pasteurella multocida, Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis, Pasteurella multocida, Streptococcus suis and M. hyo. in groups of swine intended for slaughter and female swine intended for breeding. It is also approved for control of ileitis associated with Lawsonia intracellularis infection in groups of swine intended for slaughter in buildings experiencing an outbreak of PPE.

The addition of females intended for breeding to the Aivlosin® WSG label was approved in late 2023 in both the United States and Canada.

“While finishing pigs have felt the benefits of Aivlosin® WSG for years, now sows can, too. We are excited about how this approval from the FDA can add efficiency to a swine operation and get sows feeling better quickly,” says Okones.

Learn more about Aivlosin® WSG at

Pharmgate Animal Health provides the livestock and poultry industry with a proven portfolio of technically supported, high-quality products that are the foundation of custom herd and flock health protocols. Founded in 2008, the company is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, with FDA-approved pharmaceutical production facilities in Omaha, Nebraska, and CVM vaccine research and manufacturing operations in St. Paul, Minnesota. To learn more about Pharmgate Animal Health, or to find a local representative, visit

Important Safety Information: Available under prescription only. Aivlosin® is indicated for control of porcine proliferative enteropathy (PPE) associated with Lawsonia intracellularis infection in groups of swine intended for slaughter in buildings experiencing an outbreak of PPE. Control of swine respiratory disease (SRD) associated with Bordetella bronchiseptica, Haemophilus parasuis, Pasteurella multocida, Streptococcus suis and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in groups of swine intended for slaughter and female swine intended for breeding in buildings experiencing an outbreak of SRD. For use only in drinking water of pigs. Not for use in male swine intended for breeding. People with known hypersensitivity to tylvalosin tartrate should avoid contact with this product. When used in accordance with label directions, no withdrawal period is required before slaughter for human consumption.