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WPX 2012: Roundworm Control Still Critical

6 June 2012, at 5:40pm

USA – Roundworms are an ever present problem in the pig industry, causing direct economic losses from suboptimal feed utilization, writes Chris Wright for ThePigSite, from the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

Dr. Jamie Lehman, Technical Services Manager, Merck Animal Health, discussed the topic of "Deworming Options for Optimal Herd Performance" and focused on roundworms. He said that roundworms are still seen at some level in almost every system. Persistent egg survival makes roundworm eradication difficult once a facility has been infected.

Lehman stressed that any level of infestation can cause significant performance issues. Fecal-oral transmission is the route of transmission. Roundworms migrate from the gut into the blood stream and then into the liver and lungs, causing pneumonia and other disease issues.

He said that sow to pig roundworm transmission remains common, therefore sows represent the critical control point. The goal is to prevent roundworm shedding during lactation, which will result in weaning a worm free pig. This will result in no loss in average daily gain and feed efficiency from undetected roundworm infections in the grow-finish cycle.

Since roundworms remain once they have infected a facility, Lehman urged the use of strategic deworming in order to reduce the amount of egg shedding, with the focus on individual sows.

To conclude, Lehman reminded the audience to "feed the pig and not the worm". With today's high feed costs and low profit margins, he said that pig producers should not forget the silent robbers of profitability.