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Latest swine virus not as fatal as PEDv

By Staff | Nov 29, 2015

DR. A.J. SMIT, a veterinarian with Sioux County-based Orange City Veterinary Clinic, poses with a banner at the Nov. 18 Passion for Pigs seminar-trade show in Orange City. Smit spoke about Seneca Valley Virus at a hog producers seminar/trade show, one of 17 speakers. The disease, which is not fatal, is sickening some hogs in Iowa, Smit said.

ORANGE CITY – Swine farmers are always on the lookout for evidence that might alert them to a disease or threat.

Last year it was the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreak.

This year, the Seneca Valley Virus showed up in porcine herds in several Iowa locations.

Although the disease did not spread wildly, it did threaten some herds’ health.

The good news is that SVV does not cause high mortality rates and can be sloughed off by most hogs in three to three-and-a-half weeks.

That’s according to Dr. A.J. Smit, a veterinarian with Orange City Veterinary Clinic.

He noted the animals can then be sold into markets with a clean bill of health and no restrictions. SVV is rarely fatal.

Smit, a hog specialist, spoke about the virus to more than 100 hog farmers and other industry professionals on Nov. 18, at the 2015 “Learn to Earn Tour.”

The seminar and trade show was presented by Passion for Pigs and sponsored by the Orange City Veterinary Clinic.

The day-long event was held in Orange City’s Prairie Winds Event Center.

Seneca Valley Virus appears as painful, hairline-like foot lesions in the hogs’ coronary band, the area between the foot and ankle.

According to Smit, 80 to 90 percent of hogs with SVV show lameness and lesions on their ankles. One in four infected hogs will also show lesions on its snout.

Smit offered several tips for farmers who spot the lesions of their pigs’ feet.

  • Identify the lesions early.
  • Initiate a foreign animal disease investigation.
  • Rule out foot-and-mouth disease and others viruses that present in hogs.
  • Do not be complacent.

“Pictures of foot-and-mouth and SVV show they are nearly identical viruses,” Smit said. “They’re in the same family.

“We do not have foot-and-mouth in the U.S., but China and Great Britain do,” he said. “It causes a lot of economic losses (for them.)”

SVV not fatal

Smit said the Seneca Valley Virus has been in the United States since 1988, when it broke out in an exhibition herd and later came to infect finishing herds.

This year, the first case appeared in Wright County, South Dakota.

The disease spread to 30 herds in 20 different Iowa counties, including one herd each in Lyon and Sioux counties.

To date, 95 SVV cases have been reported this year in the U.S.

Hog producers are required to call their state veterinarian and send samples to that office if they suspect SVV in their herd.

The collected samples are sent to F.A.D.D.L.E., a lab at Plum Island, New York. That lab tests to identify the illness as well as test all samples so as not to miss a possible case of the more dire PEDv.

Smit said he’s only handled one case of PEDv.

The vet had to document the sick hogs’ treatment and success, bringing each animal’s test showing negative for SVV and other diseases.

Smit said he was surprised by the robust appetites of the SVV-infected hogs.

“The pigs still want to eat,” he said. “They will crawl (to the feeder) and get big, callused knees.”

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