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Combat the Rise of PRRS and Boost the Immune System of Your Nursery Pigs

4 minute read

Over the last few years, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has become more problematic than normal. It is typically a seasonal virus, most common in the fall and winter. However, PRRS has started to persist through the spring and summer months and has higher rates of morbidity and mortality than usual, which appear to be complicated by new strains. 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. Taken together, these two challenges create an added layer of complexity in managing pig health today. 

Disease and Stress Lead to Essential Nutrient Deficiencies in Pigs’ Diets 

Feed intake in swine is reduced during periods of stress and disease, like weaning or when experiencing a viral infection such as PRRS. Reductions in feed intake can lead to nutrient deficiencies, particularly during times when the immune system is responding to a disease challenge. When the immune system is responding to an infection and nutrient intake is low, these two factors can impair a pig’s ability to fight off infections.  

To avoid zinc deficiency, we must 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 with Water-Soluble Zinc 

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

Zinpro ProPath LQ Zn provides unrivaled mineral absorption that helps boost the immune system and pigs’ ability to cope through 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.

Recent internal research has shown that supplementing Zinpro ProPath LQ Zn 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 the Immune System of Your Pigs with Zinpro 

Zinpro® Zinc in feed or water 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 best results are achieved when giving your pigs an advantage when the right zinc – Zinpro Zinc – is included as part of your nursery pig health management strategy. 

To learn more about how the unique and practical delivery of Zinpro Zinc can help effectively manage PRRS and other viral infection in your pigs, contact your Zinpro Swine Expert today.