Postweaning Wasting Catabolic Syndrome Cause and Control Elusive

Farmscape for February 16, 2010   (Episode 3364)

A researcher with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon reports the cause and best methods for controlling Postweaning Wasting Catabolic Syndrome remain elusive.

Postweaning Wasting Catabolic Syndrome or PWCS is a relatively new disease that affects piglets shortly after weaning.

It's been identified on a farm in Saskatchewan and there have been similar cases reported in Kansas.

Dr. Yanyun Huang, a researcher with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine reports scientists have screened a wide range of common pig pathogens including viruses, bacteria and parasites but have not yet found an explanation for the disease.


Clip-Dr. Yanyun Huang-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Usually the disease occurs shortly after weaning which means within the first week after weaning the pigs begin to show some signs.

But it's most apparent in the second week when you will notice that they don't eat and then they become very thin, lose condition and finally maybe by the third week most of them will die.

The morbidity and mortality waxes and wanes so in the bad times there will be about five to ten percent of the animals being affected and dying.

It seems that if you disinfect your nursery room or farrowing room the mortality will go low but we are not totally convinced about this because as I said the mortality and morbidity of the disease waxes and wanes.

We are not sure whether we just hit the low time of the disease process.

Dr. Huang says scientists will be using new strategies, mostly molecular biology techniques, in an effort to gain a better understanding the disease.

He says it still too early to provide recommendations for dealing with PWCS but he remains hopeful we'll have a better understanding of the disease in the near future.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


-Dr. Huang addressed the 2010 Manitoba Swine seminar earlier this month in Winnipeg.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council