Warning issued on Seneca Virus

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Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network Manager Dr. Jette Christensen is warning farmers to be on the lookout for Seneca virus symptoms, such as blisters.

If they show up in the herd, he says the pigs should not be moved until an accurate diagnosis has been made. Seneca virus symptoms are similar to foot-and-mouth disease.

“It can only affect pigs, so it’s not like foot-and-mouth disease that can affect a lot of other species like cattle,” Christensen said.

You will see blisters and sores on the snout, in the mouth, and above the hoof. You’ll also see lameness and/or the pigs can develop fever and appear lethargic. There might be a decrease in feed consumption.

“There’s been a warning from the practitioners that work with the affected sow herds that the blisters can really be subtle so we really have to be careful and look at that,” Christensen said.

What can you do?

“If you see blisters you have to contact your swine practitioner or your Chief Veterinary officer in your province and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency so they can make sure that we’re not looking at foot-and-mouth disease but looking at Seneca Valley virus and get a correct diagnosis on that,” Christensen said.

“Again, Seneca Valley Virus has been reported on assembly yards so good biosecurity around transport of culled animals and animals for slaughter is important to protect your herd.”

Dr. Christensen said it’s important to not spread the disease so, if you see blisters, you should not move animals off the premises.

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