Post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome is raising havoc in the United Kingdom where the pork industry has already been beaten down. In the United States, the disease continues to keep researchers and veterinarians challenged.

While PMWS is a worldwide health concern, North America's cases seem to have leveled. Since first identified in 1995 in western Canada, PMWS has been reported in Asia, Europe and other North American countries.

Swine Practitioner magazine offers these tips for keeping an eye on your herd when it comes to PMWS.

Affected pigs are six to 16 weeks of age. The following symptoms are often seen in conjunction with icterus and dyspnea, and can be manifested by PMWS:

  • A general appearance of wasting
  • Weight loss
  • Unthriftiness
  • Failure to thrive

Once PMWS is diagnosed, there is no vaccine or antibiotic that is available for treatment. Therefore, the strategy is to limit the disease impact through management practices. These include:

  • Separating sick pigs from the rest of the group.
  • Using an effective disinfectant to prepare the facility or room between pig groups.
  • Following strict all-in/all-out pig flow.
  • Insuring adequate ventilation.
  • Reducing overcrowding in pens.
    Certainly, if you are concerned about your herd, you should consult with your veterinarian to create a prevention and/or treatment program for your herd.