Poor performance on pig farms is too often blamed on pathogens. However, in practice, many conditions have an environmental element that plays a significant role in the development of disease. In production medicine, the welfare and wellbeing of animals showing clinical signs are already seriously affected, added to which subsequent treatment will impact on farm profits. Understanding animal husbandry can therefore go a long way to promoting health rather than treating problems. This article describes a systematic approach to environmental medicine and details the basic equipment required to help veterinary surgeons assess a pig's surroundings in relation to the clinical picture, and to make appropriate changes to the environment where deficiencies are identified.
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