Combat the Rise of PRRS in Pigs and Boost the Immune System of Your Swine Herd

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been more problematic in 2020 and 2021 than in previous years. It is typically a seasonal virus, most common in the fall, winter and spring. However, PRRS has persisted through the summer months and has higher rates of morbidity and mortality than usual, which appear to be complicated by a new strain identified as 1-4-4 Lineage 1C. This new strain has added a layer of complexity in managing pig health today.

On top of that, the ability of PRRS to impair the pig’s immune response opens the door for secondary bacterial infections that can be even more dangerous than PRRS itself.

The Health of Your Pigs Starts with Immune-Boosting Trace Mineral Supplements 

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the use of zinc supplementation to slow the spread of PRRS in pigs and prevent the replication of other viral infections. That’s because it is a critical trace mineral for the immune system and can help pigs manage PRRS and other viral infections in the following ways:  

  • It inhibits replication of RNA viruses. 
  • It increases cilia beat, which helps to expel pathogens from the respiratory tract. 
  • It improves epithelial integrity in the lungs, helping prevent translocation of secondary bacteria into the lungs. 

Feed intake in swine is reduced during periods of stress and disease, like weaning or when experiencing a viral infection such as PRRS. Along with this reduction in feed intake, critical nutrients (especially zinc) must be utilized for the ensuing immune response. The combination of these two factors can cause zinc deficiency, further impairing a pig’s ability to fight off infections.  

To avoid zinc deficiency, we have to make sure pigs are still consuming adequate levels of zinc even as their feed intake is reduced. One way to do this is to supplement it in their drinking water.  

Effectively Manage PRRS Pig Disease with Water-Soluble Zinc Supplements 

When pigs experience stress events, water intake is reduced but not to the same degree as feed intake, making it a viable avenue for supplemental nutrition during health challenges.  Supplementing ProPath® LQ Zn from Zinpro Performance Minerals®,  the only water-soluble zinc-specific source commercially available in the U.S., will ensure that they have adequate zinc to mount a more rapid and robust immune response against viral infections.  

Recent research has shown that the addition of Zinpro’s unique zinc amino acid complex can provide health benefits in the face of different challenges. In one internal research study (data on file, Zinpro Corporation), supplementing ProPath LQ Zn 180 in the water for pigs weaned with PRRS reduced the number of medical interventions required by 24% throughout the nursery period, including a 25% reduction in the first week.  

This led to an additional 1.5 pounds of body weight at nursery exit.  

Maximize Pig Immune System Support with ProPath LQ Zn 

Zinc must be supplemented daily to provide the maximum benefit, and additional supplementation may be required during viral infections to support the immune system.  

Inorganic sources of zinc alone will not provide the maximum benefit to the immune system. The greatest benefits are achieved when giving your pigs an advantage with the ProPath LQ Zn is included as part of your nursery pig health management strategy. 

To learn more about how the unique and practical delivery of ProPath LQ Zn benefits can help effectively manage PRRS and other viral infections in your swine herd, contact your Zinpro representative today.  

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