Tail necrosis due to mycotoxins.

Six reasons why toxin binders may not work

No swine producer in this world needs an explanation about the occurrence of mycotoxins in feed. Yet there’s a difference between knowing the challenge and choosing a proper solution. Here are six reasons why a chosen toxin binder may not work.


wareness of the negative impacts of mycotoxins in feedstuffs on both pig health and profitability has increased significantly in recent years. Research has revealed the detrimental effect of mycotoxins

on, among others, swine immunity or disease progression. Thanks to this level of awareness, every producer, from a farmer preparing feed on the farm to industrial feed mixing plants, uses some kind of product to minimise the impact on production results. Toxin binders constitute the most conventional type of an- ti-mycotoxin product. Comprised of various adsorbents, they are added to swine feed in minute quantities in order to dis- pose of mycotoxins within a pig’s gastro-intestinal tract, thereby reducing harm to animals. However, as many swine producers well know, there are in- stances where a mycotoxin adsorbent may not deliver the ex- pected results. This article sums up six reasons why a binder may not work.

▶PIG PROGRESS | Volume 36, No. 4, 2020 1. Incorrect diagnosis, e.g. tail necrosis

Tail necrosis is a common swine affliction that occurs unpre- dictably and jeopardises performance. Tail necrosis appears in animals of all ages, from new born piglets to finishers. Several mycotoxins are known to contribute to tail necrosis. Ergot alkaloids exert vasoconstriction effects leading to is- chaemia and dry gangrene. From this, necrosis can develop in the ear, tail and hooves of piglets. Trichothecenes such as T-2 toxin or desoxynivalenol (DON) have been reported as a cause of tail necrosis, as is also shown on the picture. Application of a proven mycotoxin deactivator may help alle- viate the situation in some cases but not in others. Because differential diagnosis of tail necrosis can be tricky, other caus- es may be at work. Certain nutritional deficiencies that cause dermatitis (zinc, group B vitamins, essential fatty oils) may also have a direct ef- fect on tail necrosis. Insects can also be the culprit. A number of environmental factors can lead to tail necrosis including: • Air humidity • Inappropriate tail clipping management • Not rinsing off strong (alkaline) disinfectants after use • Small injuries from slatted or abrasive flooring In these cases, it makes sense to review health status, pest control, feed formulation and management practices in order to address the issue.

2. Insufficient dosage: sampling error The appropriate dosage level of a mycotoxin deactivator de-

pends on the extent of mycotoxin contamination of the feed materials found. In some cases, applying 0.5kg of bind-


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