General guide

    Refrigerator management

    Medicine problems

    Medication routes

    Needles and syringes

    Broken needles

    Disposal of medicines, needles and syringes

    In-feed medication requirements

    Medication through the water supplies


Use of Vaccines through the Water supplies


Today there are several modified live vaccines which are available for administration through the water supply.

These would include:

Ileitis Lawsonia intracellularis,

Erysipelas Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae,

Salmonella choleraesuis

Escherichia coli E. coli


The following notes describe a method of preparing the water supply so that the vaccine has the best chance of working. However, please follow all advice given with the vaccine.


Vaccine storage


Ensure that the vaccine is stored properly on the farm. Some of the vaccines have very specific storage requirements

Preparation of the water supply


These vaccines are live. Therefore, the vaccine (organisms) will be killed and will be ineffective if there are any antibiotics or other agents, such as chlorine, in the water supply

Inactive chlorine with sodium thiosulphate or skimmed milk. Note with skimmed milk do not reconstitute with hot water and this may also kill the vaccine

Ensure that all antibiotics are removed from the water lines and feed lines for at least 2 days before vaccination. These antibiotics also need to be avoided for at least 5 days

The medicator


Ensure that the medicator is thoroughly cleaned. This should include the medicator itself, housing and filters used. But note that the medicator cannot have cleaning materials remaining in the medicator or buckets. Soaps can destroy these live vaccines

Measuring the amount of water to be drunk by the pigs the day before medication, for example around 10-11 am.


Fill a new, clean stock solution container with clean water and let the water run through the system

Record the starting volume of water

Note the time of day when you start running the water through the system

After a 4 hour period, measure the amount of water that was used out of the stock solution. This will be the amount of stock solution that will be required.

Pigs have drinking habits that will change with time. Between two individual days the drinking habit does not change much

Flush the water supply


Fill the stock solution container with clean water and allow medicator to run overnight to flush any remaining antimicrobial residues

Day of vaccination (Need the vaccine and sodium thiosulphate)


Half an hour before the time yesterday when the water use consumption over the 4 hour period was calculated prepare to administer the vaccine

Stop the medicator temporarily

Empty the stock solution container.

Refill with the amount of clean water the pigs will use in 4-5 hours (as determined yesterday).

Add sodium thiosulphate (which neutralizes chlorine) to clear the water of chlorine. Note some of the trade brands contain a dye which allows you to track the product through the water supply.


Thaw the vaccine in warm water (not hot) water. This should take 10 minutes

When the vaccine has thoroughly thawed

Add the vaccine to the stock solution

Remove the drinker line to the last drinker

Start the medicator and allow the sodium thiosulphate to flush through the water line. If a dye is included with the sodium thiosulphate the dye will be seen in the water

Replace the drinker line to the last drinker

Allow the medicator to run until all the stock solution has been used.

Make another 4 litres of stabilizing solution to flush the remaining vaccine out of the water lines

During administration of vaccine monitor vaccine consumption

After vaccination has finished


Ensure that the water supply is fully restored.

Do not use water or feed medications for at least 5 days after vaccinating through the water lines. This is to prevent killing the vaccine before it adequately stimulates immunity.

Reasons for vaccine failure


Vaccine storage

Vaccines stored at the wrong temperature or variable temperatures. The -70C frozen ileitis vaccine is particularly sensitive if stored for a week in conventional fridge.

Vaccine mixed with chlorinated water or antibiotics

Time to deliver vaccine

Water consumption more than estimated

Pig Flow changes

Hot days water consumption increases variable. If weather very variable delay vaccine

Medicator problems

Loss of suction

Medicator hose come out of bucket

Vaccine timing

Vaccine administered too late too close to the outbreak


Water medication 2


Water bowl dirty 2


Water drinkers misalined

Ensure water medicator thoroughly cleaned

Ensure water supplies are thoroughly cleaned

Ensure that the water supply is readily accessible to all the pigs in the house