Bordetellosis is a common bacterial disease that is found in pigs. The disease also affects other creatures such as birds and dogs. It is a disease that causes problems in the respiratory system. The main symptoms of bordetellosis in pigs are coughs, sneezes, and nasal discharge. But it can be more problematic when it has its action in tandem with other bacterial invaders. Treatment for bordetellosis in pigs may be unnecessary in many cases. But where it is needed antibiotics are used.
The underlying cause of bordetellosis in pigs is a bacterial species called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Factors that contribute to the spread of the disease include a poor environment, the recirculation of air, and the use of the same housing over a long period. The disease is found in many herds of pigs but it is only significant when the bacteria are present in large amounts. Transmission of the disease is through the inhalation of the bacteria by the pigs.
When the disease causing bacterium is present in smaller numbers there are likely to be no symptoms present, or if there are any mild symptoms of rhinitis they will clear up themselves pretty quickly. Where there are larger populations of the bacteria then symptoms will become apparent. The disease affects the respiratory system. The obvious symptoms of bordetellosis in pigs are rather similar to a cold with coughs, sneezes, and nasal discharge all being seen in the animals.
Beyond this form of the disease there are also other forms that involve an interaction with some other disease. Bordetellosis may appear as a secondary infection in cases of pneumonia, for example. Another case where there is an interaction between diseases is where there is toxigenic pasturella also present with bordetellosis. In this case severe progressive rhinitis can be the result. All of the various symptoms can be used in helping to diagnose the condition in the pig but it will require laboratory tests to isolate the disease-causing bacterium to confirm the diagnosis.
In many cases of bordetellosis in pigs there is no need for treatment because the disease simply clears up on its own. But in more severe cases some form of treatment will be necessary. This will involve antibiotics to kill off the bacteria. Chlortetracycline in feed is one possibility. In the case of weaners it may be that an injection of oxytetracycline may be used. To prevent reoccurrence of the problem the environment of the pigs should be improved to reduce the Bordetella bronchiseptica levels that are present.