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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
PRESS BULLETIN 163
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
By A. P. Spencer
Perhaps the greatest obstacle that hog raisers in Florida have to contend
with, is the disease known as hog cholera. A conservative estimate places
the direct loss from hog cholera throughout Florida for 1910 at a quarter of a
million dollars. Furthermore, this disease is responsible to a large extent
for the inferior hogs that are found so generally in the State. Many farmers
who would otherwise have purchased improved stock to build up their herds,
have hesitated and in most cases chosen not to do so because of the danger
of loss from hog cholera. Since the greater part of Florida is without a
well-defined stock law, the average farmer is powerless to keep his herd free
from such an infectious disease as hog cholera.
Symptoms of Hog Cholera
All the animals may not show similar symptoms when affected with hog
cholera, but generally speaking the following are typical symptoms.
The hog is sluggish; has little appetite; a'desire to drink much water;
some diarrhoea; inflamed eyes, with a sticky discharge often gluing the eye-
lids together; usually a hacking cough; a weak uncertain walk; and red
blotches, which afterwards turn purple, over the body. Usually the hogs live
only from 3 to 10 days after the first sign of disease. Few recover, and the
recovery in such cases is slow, while frequently the hair comes off and ulcers
appear on the body.
It is the general opinion among those who have had most experience with
this disease, that ordinary medicines are of little or no value in curing it,
and that the only treatment that has been effectual is the serum treatment
prescribed by the Bureau of Animal Industry, Washington, D. C. To describe
in detail the method of obtaining the serum and the precautions that must
be observed in its manufacture, would require too much space. It is, however,
sufficient to state that the manufacture of this serum must be under the
January 21, 19 111
control of a competent vel.rinarian. It must be produced under sanitary
conditions, and then judiciously distributed. In order that it might be
accessible to every farmer it would be necessary to have an establishment
in the State for the manufacture of serum. Such an establishment, conducted
by the State authorities, v~oculd enable the f-rmers to secure the serum for
the small cost of about two cents per cubic centimeter. At this price it will
cost 20 cents to immunize a suckling pig and 40 to 45 cents for a mature hog.
The economy of this treatment will be appreciated when it is under-
stood that one treatment at the suckling age will be sufficient for hogs that
are to go on to the general market. For hogs that are to be kept for breeding
purposes, additional treatment may be necessary, especially if hog cholera
happens to break out in the herd, or if it is prevalent in the community.
The value of hog-cholera serum has been demonstrated in so many in-
stances that we feel warranted in stating that the serum treatment can be
relied upon as a preventive against cholera, and that it is efficient from
every standpoint. We therefore recommend its general use to the farmers
of our State.
Need of Legislation
Florida should have an appropriation from the legislature of not less than
$8000, to furnish the necessary plant and equipment to supply the needed
serum to the farmers of the State. Such a plant once established and well
under way would be made nearly self-sustaining by charging those to whom
the vaccine is supplied with the cost of production and no more.
State papers please copy.