E. coli, Salmo­nella, Rotavirus and other bacteria can and do cause many intestinal infections. However, sometimes nutrition can be indirectly to blame.

“In some cases, it is actually osmotic diarrhea, caused by an indigestible protein.” said Dr. Brad Lawrence, Swine Technical Manager for Novus International. Excess dietary protein reaches the hindgut and affects its pH, making it more conducive to the growth of pathogen­ic bacteria.

One of the health and feeding challenges for weaned pigs is that they have an extremely high potential for growth, so they need a protein-dense diet to support that growth. However, they have an immature GI tract and enzyme system that has a tough time digesting the high level of protein.

“A protease enzyme works to make the indigestible portion of feed ingredients more available to the animal by degrading components such as anti-nutritional and allergenic proteins so they are more easily absorbed into the digestive system,” Lawrence said.

Read more to learn how protease enzyme in growing animal diets improves digestibility and profitability.