Standard operating procedures for herd health

General procedures

  • The swine herd health standard operating procedure applies to all swine owned by WSU and defines the minimum preventative herd health.
  • Exceptions to the swine herd health SOP must be approved by the IACUC or through veterinary consultation.
  • Before acquisition, consult with veterinary staff to review incoming health status and determine a quarantine, testing and housing plan.
  • All veterinary assessments and procedures must be documented in the animal’s medical record.

Introduction of new animals

  • On arrival:
    • Assign an Individual Animal Identification (IACUC SOP #7) and create an Animal Care Medical Record (example pdf) (IACUC Policy #4).
    • Complete a physical exam by a veterinarian, veterinary technician, or trained animal care technician.   
    • Quarantine away from resident animals for at least 2-4 weeks depending on risk factors.   Observe closely for signs of illness and treat as needed. 
    • All animals should be either be dewormed, FEC (fecal egg count) performed, or documentation of deworming within the last 6 months on arrival. See Table 1 for deworming options or consult with a veterinarian. Entrance exam should include observation for external parasites.
    • Animals intended to incorporate into existing herds or housed >6-8 weeks should be vaccinated on arrival with parvovirus, leptospirosis, erysipelas and atrophic rhinitis unless the animals have documented up to date vaccination history. Additional vaccinations may be required depending on history, housing and use.

Herd health maintenance

  • All assessments and procedures must be documented in the Animal Medical Record.
  • Vaccinate annually with minimum of parvovirus, leptospirosis, erysipelas or if risk factors indicate, consult a veterinarian.
  • Deworming schedule and choice can be based on FEC surveillance to determine which anthelmintics to use.

Minor cuts, scrapes or abrasions

  • If a pig is noted to have minor cuts, wounds or abrasions, the area should be cleaned thoroughly with an antiseptic solution such as chlorhexidine or betadine (or equivalent) and a commercial salve or wound coat applied along with fly spray if in fly season.  This can be done once daily for 2-7 days ensuring that the wound is healing and no worsening.  If at any time the wound is draining or worsening, a veterinarian will need to assess and make a specific plan for the animal.
  • Daily documentation of treatment is necessary either in the form of a treatment sheet or in the medical record


  • Macro and trace minerals must be provided in a complete swine feed.
  • Abrupt changes to the diet should be avoided, any changes should be introduced gradually over a period of several days.
  • Feed requirements of each animal should be determined to prevent over or underfeeding.
  • Pigs must have unlimited access to fresh water.

Table 1. Swine Dewormers

DrugDose (mg/kg)*RouteFrequency
Ivermectin0.3SQ (neck behind ear)1-2 times; 10-14 days apart
Fenbendazole3-5PO (orally)Daily for 3 days or once (higher dose)
Albendazole5-10PO (orally)Once
Piperazine0.2-0.4%In feedOnce in 12 hours
“Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook”. D. Plumb, 6th edition



Tubbs, Roderick C. “Herd Health Program for Swine Seedstock Production.” Web.



American Association of Swine Veterinarians

AASV Publications

Effective Date: 11-27-23 NW