Summer heat brings on additional stress for pigs and therefore, we do tend to see an increase in some diseases over the summer months. Two of these being Lawsonia intracellularis (Ileitis) and Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome (HBS) and you should consider visiting with your veterinarian to make sure that appropriate programs are in place to help combat these issues. Both of these can cause sudden death and can be confused without proper diagnostics.
Lawsonia intracellularis (Ileitis): is a bacterium that infects the intestine and causes a dark tarry diarrhea and in acute outbreaks causes death. There are many feed medication programs and vaccinations available to control this. If you are pulsing feed medications in your finishers, the timing of these medications are very important.
Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome (HBS): is a syndrome and cause is not completely understood. It appears that it is a multi-factorial syndrome, meaning that many factors affect the outbreak of HBS. HBS results in sudden death with blood filled intestines and they may be twisted. Factors include, but not limited to; on and off feed events, increase in clostridium organism in the intestine, and genetics. There are several options for control of this, including acidification of water, oregano, and Skycis.