Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 21
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LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AFFECTED BY ANIMAL DISEASES 21
Yellow fat disease
In recent years it has been necessary for mink raisers to feed more
fish to their animals because it is cheaper and more plentiful than the
horsemeat that once was the bulk of the mink diet. The Fur Animal
Disease Laboratory at Pullman, in cooperation with the Washington
station, discovered that steatitis or "yellow fat" disease of mink was
a result of this increase in fish in the mink ration.
The same disorder occurs in swine when they are fed large amounts
of fish. The findings of this laboratory and station that adequate
vitamin E added to the mink ration prevented yellow fat disease are
important not only to the mink industry but also to the swine industry.
Some pigs have been condemned at slaughter because of the yellow
color of their fat following the feeding of fish.
This work has prevented recurrence of outbreaks of the disease
similar to those that occurred in the mink industry during 1947 and
1948. At that time, ranchers lost thousands of dollars because of
Diseases of Swine
Reducing losses in young pigs
Why is it that such a large percentage of pigs farrowed each year
fail to reach market? The problem is far from simple and in recognition
of its seriousness, 14 State agricultural experiment stations, the
U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the Hormel Institute are working
as a team in a regional program designed to find ways of reducing
such losses. Some of the findings were reported in the 1950 Annual
Report (p. 158). Major emphasis is now being placed on enteritis in
young pigs, which at this time appears to be the number 1 problem.
The study of enteritis is being approached from both the disease and
nutritional viewpoints. After satisfactory information has been
obtained on this phase, the cooperators will study the next most important
disease or condition contributing to pig losses. Meanwhile,
the States continue their own station studies covering other aspects
not supported by allocated regional funds. These aspects are complemental
to the regional study and often provide much valuable information,
which is freely exchanged during the technical committee
Veterinarians at the Indiana station were the first to describe transmissible
gastroenteritis (TGE) in pigs. As observed in sporadic
outbreaks, the disease was characterized by diarrhea, vomiting in some
cases, rapid loss of weight, and a high death rate in baby pigs. Although
TGE has not assumed epidemic proportions, it is potentially
one of the most serious diseases facing the swine industry because of
its highly contagious and fatal character. It is apparently caused by
a virus. Only swine are susceptible, and clearly defined symptoms
and lesions occur only in young pigs. Hence, investigational work
with this virus is handicapped by lack of a readily available, easily
managed laboratory animal. Currently, an experiment is in progress
at the Illinois station to establish the TGE virus in rabbits by serial
inoculations. There is promising evidence that this has been accomplished,
but it must be confirmed by further tests.
One of the difficulties encountered in studying the virus is that it
could not be propagated by the usual methods. The Illinois station is
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/23/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.