"Two years ago, there was a PCV breakdown on the farm,” explained John. “Some pigs were actually wasting, but mostly we were seeing uneven pigs in the early fatteners, at around 12 to 13 weeks. Luckily we have a great vet and he took bloods and followed the pigs to the factory to post-mortem them.”

His vet at Agrihealth diagnosed Porcine Circovirus (PCV) and discussed introducing PCV2 vaccination to help control the disease. As the farm was already using a Mycoplasma (M. hyo) vaccine, the decision was to start vaccinating for both at 20 days of age using the twin head IDAL device.

IDAL administers a small amount of vaccine (0.2ml) under pressure into the skin. The vaccine is delivered into the dermis, rather than muscle, where specialised cells stimulate an immune response that has been proven to be as effective as traditional intramuscular vaccination. The absence of needles makes vaccinating large herds quicker and safer for both staff and pigs and the twin head device allows two vaccines or more to be administered simultaneously.

“It’s working well,” admits John. “The IDAL is very good, very handy, very labour-friendly. The lads here don’t work for me, they work with me. When we vaccinate there are two people lifting and I’m injecting the vaccines into the side of the neck. It’s a team effort.”

The lads here don’t work for me, they work with me... It’s a team effort.

In Ireland, the vaccination rate in piglets against PCV2 is approximately 95% and for M hyo is approximately 73%. Porcilis PCV and M Hyo vaccines have been used successfully in Ireland for many years in both their intramuscular and intradermal forms and are effective and stable when used individually or in combination.

Since they started vaccinating with the twin head IDAL at three weeks of age, John has noticed that the pigs are healthier. “I’m extremely happy with how it’s going. Because we’re all-in-all-out, we send full batches of pigs to the factory irrespective of individuals’ weights. It’s clear that the finishers going to slaughter are definitely more uniform now,” he concludes.

Team effort: staff find the twin-head IDAL easy to use.

IDAL: the sustainable choice

IDAL is not only convenient for farmers, it’s also better for the environment. With less vaccine and smaller bottles, we’re reducing transport, refrigeration and waste – and farmers don’t need to worry about sharps bins and needle disposal. Each device is made to last and improved nozzles allow longer intervals between services and reduced maintenance time and our longer life rechargeable batteries can vaccinate up to 3,500 pigs on one charge.

Regular servicing can be undertaken on farm or at the local service centre to ensure optimal biosecurity. Full training and support is offered by the MSD Animal Health Swine Team.

Long-lasting protection up to 26 weeks

Porcilis PCV ID had been proven to reduce viraemia, virus load in the lungs and lymphoid tissues and virus shedding caused by PCV2 infection. It also reduces the loss of daily weight gain and mortality associated with PCV2 infection. It is safe to use from three weeks of age and duration of immunity has recently been extended to an industry-leading 26 weeks after vaccination.

It is best to use vaccines that are licensed for use together as they have been proven not to interact adversely. Porcilis intradermal piglet vaccines can be administered individually or concurrently in combinations to suit your farm’s needs. It is possible to vaccinate against PRRS, PCV2, M. hyo and Lawsonia (ileitis) in just one lift of the pig. Speak to your vet to learn more.

More information

Farmers should discuss their vaccination regime with their vet who can also advise on diagnostics, infection control and on-farm biosecurity.

Further information about Porcilis PCV ID and Porcilis M Hyo ID ONCE is available from your veterinary practitioner, the product SPC or MSD Animal Health, Red Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland or www.msd-animal-health.ie/pigs. MSD Animal Health can be contacted at: 01-2970220 or emailed at: vet-support.ie@msd.com