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Quick guide to: Clostidium novyi

By Dr Andrew Tucker, CS Vet
What is Clostridium novyi?
Clostridium novyi is a bacteria causing sudden death in large fattening pigs, as well as sows. How the organism causes the damage it does, is not currently known, but it produces toxins that are released into the pig’s body. Multiplication in the liver appears to be associated with a decrease in liver oxygenation resulting from chronic pneumonia or enteritis.How do you know if it’s on your farm?
Affected pigs are often found dead and rapid decomposition of the carcass is often seen. Other typical signs are swelling of the throat, lung oedema as well as fluid in the abdomen and thorax. The most typical sign is the formation of gas bubbles in the liver which also then has a light brown colour. A diagnosis is often made by post mortem findings, but laboratory confirmation is possible.
How do you treat or prevent it?
Treating or preventing the predisposing conditions, namely pneumonia and enteritis, with antibiotics or vaccines will help to reduce the incidence in the herd. There is a sow vaccine available to further protect sows and there are a few feed additives on the market which can also decrease clinical signs on the farm.
Pig Diseases – D.J. Taylor; Diseases of Swine – Straw, Zimmerman, D’Allaire, Taylor

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