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Quick Guide to: Mycoplasma hyosynoviae

By Dr Andrew Tucker – CS Vet
What is Mycoplasma hyosynoviae?
M. hyosynoviae has been found in most pig producing countries in the world. It is commonly found in the tonsils of healthy carrier sows. From here it can infect other pigs via the oronasal route. Pigs are commonly infected by ten to twelve weeks of age. Infection results in a septicaemia and the organism can then spread to the joints where it causes damage and the resultant clinical sings over a seven week period.How do you know if it’s on your farm?
Most infections will go completely unnoticed; although sometimes a change in the way the pig walks may be seen.  Severe infections can however lead to a sudden lameness in one or more legs, progressing to the inability to stand within 24 hours. These pigs will often have a temperature and will need to be removed from their pens as they refuse to stand and get bullied by penmates. M. hyo is most often found in pigs weighing more than 35kg. It is often seen as a sudden onset lameness one to three weeks after introducing unexposed breeding stock to an infected farm. The clinical signs usually last for 3 – 10 days before recovery so treatment is advised although in some severe cases euthanasia is required.
The clinical signs mentioned above will make one suspicious of the disease’s presence on the farm.
Further lab testing can confirm the diagnosis.
How do you treat or prevent it?
Antibiotic treatment is possible via water, feed or injection. Decreasing the incidence when introducing breeding stock can also be achieved by antibiotic therapy at key times.
References:
Pig Diseases – D.J. Taylor; Diseases of Swine – Straw, Zimmerman, D’Allaire, Taylor

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