Pig disease on upswing in U.S.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Pork producers need to know what to do if a vesicular disease strikes their operation.

The Seneca Valley virus (SVV) disease is on the upswing in the United States, says Corinne Bromfield, University of Missouri Extension veterinarian.

The Swine Health Information Center reported that diagnostics labs had seen more than 60 cases of SVV from January to June 2016. They reported only 20 cases in the previous 30 years. 

The virus runs in the same family as foot-and-mouth disease and swine vesicular disease virus. It causes vesicular lesions in pigs. The gross lesions mimic the symptoms of other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. Fluid-filled blisters appear on the inside of the pig’s mouth, snout and the “V” of a pig’s coronary band. The blisters are fragile and may rupture before they are noticed. Lesions may crust. Lameness occurs frequently.

Act immediately and use common industry biosecurity measures if you suspect SVV on your farm, Bromfield says.

Producers who suspect SVV or any foreign animal disease should immediately call their veterinarian to contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s state animal health veterinarian. Visual diagnosis is not possible, Bromfield says.

“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might be a duck,” Bromfield says. “Or it could be a goose.” Only clinical testing tells.

Send samples to the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab. The lab is the only Level 2 National Animal Health Laboratory Network lab in Missouri. Results return within 24 hours. Go to vmdl.missouri.edu to learn more.

If you suspect the presence of the disease, quarantine animals and halt movement of anyone who has been near the hogs. Do not market pigs with active open lesions, Bromfield says. No vaccines to treat SVV exist.

“Keep it off your neighboring farms. Contain it and treat it,” Bromfield says. “Don’t be complacent.”

If it is foot-and-mouth disease instead of SVV, follow the same control methods. Foot-and-mouth disease can infect pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Humans do not contract it.

Producers can learn more at workshops on “Preventing and Responding to Disease Outbreak” in March. MU Extension offers the one-day workshops at five locations in Missouri. For more information, contact Misty Grant at 573-882-2731 or grantmm@missouri.edu.