Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

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Happyhogfarm2
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Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by Happyhogfarm2 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:52 am

We had a litter of piglets around 2 and a half weeks old come down with this. It was like one piglet a day for about a week would be sore on one back leg and lay around for one day but then be up the next and be fine. We did not treat with anything. They are all fine and happily running around using all legs but now at 8 weeks old they still have a back knee or two that has swelling. It just won't go away even though they show no other symptoms. I decided to try to treat 3 piglets as a tester batch with Tylan 50 (it says it treats mycoplasma arthritis on the lable, to treat for no more than 3 days) to see if I could get the swelling to go away, but after 3 full days of treatment I'm not seeing any change in the swelling.

My questions are:

1. After finding this forum and doing some research here I'm wondering if I should try Lincomycin? Does it work differently than Tylan 50? Do they even need to treated? They are happy healthy appearing piglets that use all their legs just fine.

2. Can I sell any piglets? I know some pigs continue to be carriers and some don't. How would I ensure they wouldn't spread it to other pigs (like their mother did to them).

3. How can I treat their mother so she doesn't infect any future litters (I've read it can hide in the tonsils and that is how they can maintain it and spread it)? When we got this new sow last summer she gave it to our 2 existing litters at the time (but we didn't know what it was then or that she gave it to them, but we suspected) they grew up just fine but at least half still had swollen back knees at the time of slaughter, even though they walked just fine and lived a happy life. We kept them quarantined so as not to spread it. We had 2 more litters born since then from other sows that we also quarantined and none of then have it. It's only now that this litter was born we are realizing that this particular sow is the carrier. I really want to keep her but if she can't be treated we can't continue to have litters that come down with this. And we can't keep quarantining everyone from her.

Thanks so much for your help!!!

BerkBabe
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Re: Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by BerkBabe » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:27 pm

I had the same initial issues with mycoplasma on my farm. Unfortunately, we had bought breeders and some feeder pigs from a registered breeder who did not vaccinate their herd. At the time, I was a newbie to swine vaccinations and diseases. That situation gave me a crash course in mycoplasma. At the time, I had lost some piglets, and I took them into the state lab. The results had come back as mycoplasma pneumonia. In that set, I did have a couple of piglets present with lameness, and they had responded to treatment. I know there are 2 strains of mycoplasma (pneumonia vs. the arthritis). Considering I had some lameness, I'm not sure if I had both strains or not. Just the one showed up on the autopsy report.

Anyway, here are my thoughts and experiences:

1) If it is Mycoplasma Arthritis, Lincomycin is typically the first antibiotic of choice to treat it.

2) I struggled with that same question. I did not want to sell anyone an animal with issues nor spread it to other farms. I asked several pig vets in the region. From my understanding of the discussions I had, bottom line is that you can't guarantee 100% that a piglet will not be a carrier. The recommendations that I received were to vaccinate my piglets and have my breeding stock on a regular vaccination schedule. For anyone buying piglets from me especially those used for breeding, my vet told me to pass along the importance of vaccinations. As long as I vaccinated the piglets, kept the breeding stock up-to-date, and I passed along to my buyers that vaccinating was important, he felt it was ok to sell. Since everyone has been on a regular vaccination schedule, I haven't had any issues, and none of my buyers have experienced issues (that I'm aware of anyway).

I also don't sell my piglets until they are 7-8 weeks of age. I leave them on Mama for 5-6 weeks (depending on the size of the litter and how she's doing), and then wean for 2 weeks before allowing them to leave. Typically, if a piglet is going to have an issue, it'll show itself before this. I haven't had issues with mycoplasma since instituting the vaccination program. However, if a piglet did present symptoms of mycoplasma, I would mark it and not allow it to be sold as breeding stock.


3) I would vaccinate your sows and boar. Pay attention to the duration of immunity on the vaccination bottles. The mycoplasma vaccinations typically have an immunity duration of 5-6 months which means you'll be vaccinating your breeding stock twice per year. One of the vets had said that after keeping up with the regular vaccination twice per year for 2-3 years, then felt I could back down to once per year as long as I maintained a closed herd.

With all of that being said, there are folks out there selling that do a lot less than this too. It's really up to what you're comfortable with doing, size of your herd, and of course, there's an economic impact too. I've had direct conservations with other pig breeders in my region, and mycoplasma seems to be very common among them. I think all regular swine breeders deal with it.

At the time of dealing with all of this, I had also strongly considered culling my breeding stock (I wasn't sure who the carrier was), letting my pastures rest for a year, and starting over. My vet didn't think I needed to do that, and I ultimately did not do it. I'm glad of that because I've purchased breeding stock from a couple of other farms, and they admitted to having to manage mycoplasma on their farm too. In other words, I would have culled them out for nothing. I do only buy from farms that have a regular vaccination program. I wonder if there are farms that can be tested to be mycoplasma free. All to say, if you ever bring in pigs from other farms, there's a decent chance that you'd also be bringing in carriers.

Anyway that's my .02. I'd be be curious to hear what other folks thought.

Happyhogfarm2
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Re: Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by Happyhogfarm2 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:55 pm

Thank you for taking the time to give me that very thoughtful response, I greatly appreciate it.

I just looked through my catalog for the vaccine for mycoplasma hyosynoviae (arthritis) and I can't find one that lists it as something it protects against. I can find many for mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Which vaccine in particular did you use?

Thanks again!

BerkBabe
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Re: Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by BerkBabe » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 pm

That's a good question. A few comments:

1) To my knowledge, there isn't a vaccine for mycoplasma arthritis. However, I just did a quick Google search, and I found this one:
https://www.bi-vetmedica.com/species/sw ... ac-mycomax.
It seems new. I'm wondering if it's only available to commercial growers.

2) I would make sure that what you think you have is actually mycoplasma arthritis. There are other bacteria that can cause pigs to present themselves with lameness. From my understanding, the only way that a pig can be diagnosed with mycoplasma arthritis is by testing joint fluid or performing blood tests for antibodies.

Some of the other types of bacteria that a pig can get that may cause lameness is strep or erysipelas. I believe there are others as well. A pig can also be a carrier of viruses but not show clinical symptoms. I think having the presence of some of these bacteria (and other viruses) can help facilitate the onset of symptoms for additional bacteria. For example, a farm might have a carrier of a virus which facilitates and allows the infection of arthritis to happen. So by vaccinating for the virus, it reduces the opportunity for the arthritis (and other) bacteria to set-in. In other words, even though there isn't a specific vaccination for mycoplasma arthritis (minus perhaps the new one mentioned above), by vaccinating for the other types of bacteria and viruses, it helps to reduce the potential for the mycoplasma arthritis to set-in. By controlling the primary diseases, you create less of an opportunity for secondary diseases to set-in. This is my understanding anyway. To be clear, I'm not a vet, I've just asked a lot of questions about it.

When I had the mycoplasma outbreak, I definitely had piglets presenting themselves with lameness. I remember one poor thing dragging itself around trying to eat. I definitely saw lameness amongst a few of them. A few others were coughing. All but 2 responded to Excede antibiotic that I got from my vet. I can't say for sure one way or another if I had mycoplasma arthritis specifically or not as the autopsy reports did not address that. I think the only way to test for the mycoplasma arthritis is by joint fluid testing -- which I don't think the autopsy lab does as a matter of procedure. I didn't know enough at the time to ask specifically about it. I know I did have mycoplasma pneumonia. Since that happened, I've instituted the vaccination program that I've detailed below, and I haven't had issues with mycoplasma (or any of its associated lameness) since then.

The vaccinations that I use for piglets are:
- Circumvent G2: I follow the 2 dose method. I initially tried the one-dose method. However, I had piglets become ill. Then I switched to the 2-dose method on the next litters, and I haven't had issues since. (I also vaccinate my breeding stock twice a year with this.)
- Rhinishield

The vaccinations I use on breeding stock, including boars, are:
- Circumvent G2
- Farrowsure Gold
- Essential 3+t
- Rhinishield (for pregnant sows/gilts)
- Litterguard LT-C (for pregnant sows/gilts)

If you're new to these vaccinations, be aware that some of them will leave knots on their necks at the injection site. For me, the knots have lasted anywhere from a couple of days to 4-6 weeks. You also might want to consider having epinephrine on-hand. I didn't really worry about it until I had a set of vaccinations that I performed on 2 litters when about 4-5 of the piglets had adverse reactions and were foaming/labored breathing. I had 2 Epi-pens in the house, and we administered a small dose of it to the worse piglets. I haven't had any issues since, but I do keep epinephrine on-hand now.

I'm just describing my experiences, and I'd be interested in hearing about other experiences/perspectives as well.

TEE
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Re: Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by TEE » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:51 am

You might want to do some research on mycoplasma hyorhinis. There is a new vaccine out called Inglevac MycoMAX. If you are having a lot of issues with mycoplasma arthritis you might look into this.

Pac
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Re: Mycoplasma Arthritis Questions

Post by Pac » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:39 am

We also use respi-sure one on the piglets the second day after farrowing to guard against the myco-pneumonia. And then the 2-dose Respi-sure one ER-BAC+ at 3 weeks and 6 weeks.

As mentioned above, your challenge is to whether your lameness issues are myco related or strep, or other. Good luck!

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