Those who are in the hog raising industry are bound to ask about Mycotoxicosis. What is Mycotoxicosis? Given certain conditions and factors present, fungi can multiply fast on cereals, cotton seed, and other types of food crop materials as a result of chemical change brought on by a substance called mycotoxin. From the origin of the word mycotoxin, one can already make a guess what it is. It is made of two words, one in Greek “mukos”, which means “fungus” and the other one in Latin “toxicum”, which means “poison”; it is by its nature considered to be a toxic secondary metabolite which comes from living things belonging to the fungus kingdom also known as molds.
This type of fungi needs adequate supply of moisture, oxygen, the right temperature and carbohydrates in order to propagate. This does not mean, however, that reproduction of said organism is limited to such conditions. The latter could still successfully multiply outside these ranges, situations and inflict crops that may already be infected with a disease which could have made them more vulnerable and likely to fall victim to fungal infection. Further clarification on this phenomena indicate that presence of fungi, even those that include recognized toxic species do not automatically preclude the presence of toxins. It must be noted that in each circumstance, it requires just the right substrate and environmental conditions in order for the toxins to be produced. In other words, Mycotoxicosis is actually a common fungus that can cause diseases on livestocks, primarily on pigs.
Animals infected with Mycotoxicosis are more likely to experience some or all of the following symptoms:
• Rectal as well as vaginal prolapses; these are common observed on the young growing stock afflicted with the ailment.
• Development of swollen red vulva of immature gilts; this is among the symptoms the most easily observable clinically
• Low rate embryo survival; this does not however begin from the implantation stage and manifest at levels less than 30ppm but only above this can lead to complete loss between implantation and within 30 days occurs
• Recurring pseudo pregnancies
The effects of Mycotoxicosis though more readily observed on pigs are not limited thereof.
Tips and comments
Like most toxin induced diseases, the most effective treatment is of course the removal of the toxins source. This type of treatment can be facilitated better by the addition of antifungal feed preservatives. It works as a result of the concept that protein level in the feed until mortality reduces may also be beneficial. Other known treatment is through heating, however contrary to popular beliefs toxins are not destroyed by heating alone but through the help of modern treatments which are used in the processing of animal feeds.
Addressing the bad effects of Mycotoxicosis is vital not just in the survival of the sick animal, but is also crucial in the survival of the industry itself. People who are in the business should be made to understand the extent of their responsibility with regards to the care and maintenance of their livestocks.