Sponsored By

4 reasons water medications make sense for swine operations

Benefits include efficiencies in labor, pig health, investment and antibiotic use.

January 10, 2024

3 Min Read

When administering swine medications, there can be a lot of questions. Which medications are most effective? How much time will it take to treat the pigs? What is the cost to the operation?

Water-soluble medications answer the call effectively and efficiently because one person can provide relief to an entire barn and one medication can quickly combat targeted pathogens.

Antibiotics delivered via water as a route of administration have increased by 4% from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, water as a ROA represented 30% of antibiotic administration (USDA 2020 Antibiotic Report.)

Antibiotics administered via water are beneficial due to their speed, flexibility and effectiveness, says Pharmgate Technical Service Veterinarian Jeff Okones.

Implementing water-soluble medications has plenty of benefits, including these four R’s.

1. Reduced labor

The swine industry, like many, is facing significant labor challenges across the supply chain. Water administration is less labor-intensive for staff and lower stress for pigs. One caretaker can medicate a specific barn, or all barns on a site quickly, which ultimately reduces treatment costs. Water-soluble medications do not require individual pig handling and require only on-site mixing of medications into your water medicator.

“Water-soluble medications minimize stress because they don’t require handling pigs, which means pigs stay calm, eating and gaining,” Okones says. “Employees mix the medication and it’s delivered through the pig’s regular visit to the waterer.”

2. Rapid relief

Swine operations need effective solutions for efficient, whole-barn control when faced with time-sensitive disease challenges. Water soluble products can be administered quickly to target specific pathogens, meaning pigs feel better faster.

“In the case of PRRSV (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus), mortality is often caused by secondary bacterial infections while the pig’s immune system is diminished fighting the PRRS virus,” says Okones. “By controlling bacterial pathogens, water-soluble medications help reduce mortality.”

Most pigs will continue to drink water after they have stopped eating, so using water-soluble antibiotics can provide rapid relief for multiple pathogens. Even healthy pigs consume twice as much water as feed, making water the ideal channel for delivering medications.

3. Return on investment

Swine producers operate on razor-thin margins, where pennies per head are the difference in profitability. Operations must be effective and efficient to realize a strong return on their investment in pig health.

Using water-soluble products to target specific pathogens can be important to maintaining animal health and improving a producer's ROI.

“Water products also can be less expensive on a per-pig basis on top of lowered labor costs,” says Okones. “They can add more value because pigs quickly feel better, so they keep gaining and performing.”

4. Responsible dose

Water ROA supports the judicious use of antibiotics, ensuring the correct amount is delivered to the correct pig when needed. These medications also provide the flexibility to treat a single barn or all barns on an entire site. Accurate dosing saves money and supports the responsible use of antibiotics since it minimizes excess use of drugs.

Swine producers and veterinarians can count on water-soluble medications to improve health while optimizing efficiency. Reduced labor, rapid relief, return on investment and responsible dosing are important factors when making herd health decisions.

Water-soluble medications tick these boxes to make them an effective and efficient tool for operations of any size.

To learn more about Pharmgate’s water ROA products, visit the website.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
National Hog Farmer is the source for hog production, management and market news

You May Also Like