Clinical, pathologic, and microbiologic findings of foot abscess in neonatal pigs

Ian A. Gardner From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Gardner, Hird, Sullivan) and Pathology (Pierce), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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David W. Hird From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Gardner, Hird, Sullivan) and Pathology (Pierce), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Nadine M. Sullivan From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Gardner, Hird, Sullivan) and Pathology (Pierce), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Robert J. Pierce From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Gardner, Hird, Sullivan) and Pathology (Pierce), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 BVSc, MS

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Summary

A longitudinal study was undertaken in a swine herd with an ever-present problem of foot abscess in suckling pigs reared on a woven-wire floor. Of 3,322 4-day-old pigs, 199 (6%) developed abscess lesions involving claws and accessory digits before weaning. Lesions were first detected in 4-day-old pigs; median and mean ages at onset were 10 and 11.3 days, respectively. At first detection, most pigs had only a single claw affected, but 39 pigs had at least 2 claws with abscesses. Hind limbs had more affected claws (140) than forelimbs (96). In the hind limbs, medial claws were most likely to have lesions, whereas the reverse was true for the forelimbs. Gross and microscopic examinations of affected claws indicated necrotic pododermatitis, with severe osteomyelitis, arthritis, and tenosynovitis. Bacteria isolated from foot abscess lesions included Actinomyces pyogenes, Staphylococcus spp, β-hemolytic Streptococcus spp, Actinobacillus spp, Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium spp, Bacteroides spp, and Peptostreptococcus spp.

Summary

A longitudinal study was undertaken in a swine herd with an ever-present problem of foot abscess in suckling pigs reared on a woven-wire floor. Of 3,322 4-day-old pigs, 199 (6%) developed abscess lesions involving claws and accessory digits before weaning. Lesions were first detected in 4-day-old pigs; median and mean ages at onset were 10 and 11.3 days, respectively. At first detection, most pigs had only a single claw affected, but 39 pigs had at least 2 claws with abscesses. Hind limbs had more affected claws (140) than forelimbs (96). In the hind limbs, medial claws were most likely to have lesions, whereas the reverse was true for the forelimbs. Gross and microscopic examinations of affected claws indicated necrotic pododermatitis, with severe osteomyelitis, arthritis, and tenosynovitis. Bacteria isolated from foot abscess lesions included Actinomyces pyogenes, Staphylococcus spp, β-hemolytic Streptococcus spp, Actinobacillus spp, Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium spp, Bacteroides spp, and Peptostreptococcus spp.

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