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Veterinarians On Call

Pig epidemic spurs farmer's son to be veterinarian

1,241 views 2 months ago
Andrew Bents' parents lost all their pigs to an epidemic when he was a boy. Twenty years later, he's grown to be Dr. Bents, swine veterinarian, working to help farmers in and around his home state of Minnesota fight a new epidemic threatening the lives of pigs.

The epidemic in the 1990s was pseudorabies. This year's epidemic is porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). This Vets On Call story documents Dr. Bents at work keeping pigs free from disease, starting with requiring everyone who enters a barn to swap their clothes and boots at the door for clean ones, and shower in and out.

In the first barn he visits, Dr. Bents finds sick pigs who "absolutely need to be treated with an antibiotic or the prognosis would not be good." He explains that per FDA regulations, pigs treated with medicine are not sent to market until the medicine has left their bodies.

Speaking from personal experience, Dr. Bents adds that animals are a farmers' livelihood, so animal welfare is a priority. "If farmers don't take care of their animals, they don't have a paycheck and can't feed their own family."

Vets On Call is presented by Zoetis. The series features vets on the job and their clients across the U.S. who volunteered to be filmed. Those appearing were not compensated to participate and the opinions expressed are theirs. Show less
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