Field evaluation of the effect of in-feed doxycycline for the control of ileitis in weaned piglets
AuthorKyriakis, S. C.; Bourtzi-Hatzopoulou, E.; Alexopoulos, C.; Kritas, S. K.; Polyzopoulou, Z.; Lekkas, S.; Gardey, L.
The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effect of in-feed doxycycline (DOXY) on the control of ileitis in weaned piglets. On a farm with a previous history of ileitis outbreaks, 288 piglets at the age of weaning (25 ± 2 days old) were divided into four experimental groups, each group comprising three pens with 24 piglets in each pen. Non-medicated animals served as negative control (NC) group, whereas groups DOXY-50, DOXY-125 and DOXY-250 received doxycycline via feed at 50, 125 and 250 ppm, respectively. Therapy lasted for 14 days followed by an observation period of 28 days. In conclusion, administration of doxycycline at a dose rate of 125 or 250 ppm had beneficial effect compared with the NC group, in terms of the reduction of diarrhoea prevalence, the enhancement of growth performance and the reduction of prevalence of Lawsonia intracellularis in the intestine, as shown either by the PCR method or by specific histopathological examinations. Treatment with 250 ppm of doxycycline for a fortnight interval post-weaning seems to be beneficial leading to better growth rates of piglets not only during treatment period, but also throughout the whole nursery phase.