Bayer Animal Health has launched Baycox 50mg/ml, the first licensed coccidiocide for the prevention of coccidiosis in piglets.

Baycox is a ready-to-use oral suspension containing the active ingredient toltrazuril, which is already licensed in different presentations for use against the disease in poultry and dairy calves. Baycox 50mg/ml is given as a single oral dose to piglets and is available on prescription from veterinarians in a 250ml bottle.

To minimise production losses from coccidiosis, metaphylactic treatment (ie before the onset of clinical signs) is recommended. A single dose of Baycox 50mg/ml ready-to-use suspension should be administered to piglets aged between three and five days, at a dose rate of 20mg/kg bodyweight, equivalent to 0.4ml/kg.

Isospora suis is the main coccidial pathogen in piglets and the most common cause of pre-weaning scours. Clinical coccidiosis manifests as watery, yellow/cream coloured scour between 10 and 21 days of age. Piglets may also appear depressed, anorexic and develop rough coats. Typically, mortality is low – around five per cent, but morbidity is high – around 70 per cent. Coccidial infection also predisposes piglets to secondary enteric infections such as E.coli or rotavirus, which can increase pre-weaning mortality rates by up to 30 per cent. The legacy of coccidiosis is retarded growth before and after weaning and uneven bodyweights within litters.

Performance improvements through administering a single dose of Baycox metaphylactically have been demonstrated on farms with a history of coccidiosis, claims Bayer. In one study, Baycox-treated piglets had gained approximately 20% more weight than the control group at 25 days of age. Another study highlighted improved feed conversion efficiency, with a Feed Conversion Rate of 2.75 in Baycox-treated piglets, compared to 2.89 in the control group.

According to the company, Baycox ready-to-use oral suspension kills all intracellular developmental stages of I.suis without impairing the piglet’s ability to develop immunity. By taking pre-emptive action against the disease, as well as improved growth and feed efficiency, pig producers can also benefit from fewer antibiotic treatments and better uniformity of litters.

For more information on coccidiosis in piglets and Baycox 50mg/ml, vets can call their Bayer sales representative.

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