"We found it much easier for all our staff to administer, across the board,” he said. “There’s no changing of needles, so no worrying about blunt or dirty needles and no damage to the skin. And because you can vaccinate a lot of pigs with one bottle, it’s quicker too.”

MSD Animal Health has pioneered the use of intradermal vaccination in pigs over more than 20 years. Needle-free vaccination using the IDAL device allows small amounts of vaccines to be applied under pressure to the skin of piglets or sows without any reduction in efficacy.

The MSD Animal Health range of proven piglet vaccines for PCV2, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo), PRRS and ileitis (Lawsonia intracellularis) are all available in both intramuscular and intradermal presentations to allow maximum flexibility for farmers.

Paul moved from an intramuscular MSD Animal Health PCV2 and a double-shot M. hyo regime to a single administration of Porcilis PCV ID and Porcilis M Hyo ID Once through the twin head IDAL device at three to four weeks of age. This provides the piglets with 23 weeks’ duration of immunity against PCV and 22 weeks’ protection against M. hyo.

“I’m really pleased with the results. We didn’t see any issues in overall performance as a result of the switch,” adds Paul. “Lung scores are very good and we have no clinical issues on farm. As a result of farm management in conjunction with vaccination, we don’t use any medication for respiratory issues. IDAL is part of that picture and has given us another tool in the box.”

But really, you have to judge the overall performance of the pigs and let the figures speak for themselves

As well as proven vaccine efficacy, there have been numbers of studies that show that vaccination with IDAL can reduce signs of stress and improve behavioural welfare indicators in pigs.

“One less injection in a pig makes a difference. Vaccinating in one go, one catching, means less stress on the piglets and, don’t forget, the people. It’s much safer for our staff without the needles and they’re all very happy using the IDAL,” says Paul.

“But really, you have to judge the overall performance of the pigs and let the figures speak for themselves,” he concludes.

More information

Further information on the intradermal IDAL device and compatible vaccines is available from your veterinary practitioner or MSD Animal Health, Red Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland.

MSD Animal Health can be contacted at 01-297 0220 or emailed at vet-support.ie@msd.com.