Common diseases 2

Common diseases 2
SAPPO Training Course
Skin problems
Diarrhoea/gastro-intestinal problems
Respiratory problems
Lameness and paralysis
Pale pigs – anaemia
Reproductive problems
Skin problems - Mange
• Caused by tiny mites
(smaller than a full
stop) that live in the
• Pigs scratch all the
time and have
crusted sores all
over the body
• Use dips, sprays or
recommended for
mange control
Skin problems - Other
Other skin parasites (pig lice, fleas, ticks,
flies) feed on blood and do not always
cause disease but if present in large
numbers can cause the pig discomfort and
excessive blood loss – use dips/sprays
Wounds – use wound spray, protect from
Sunburn – provide sufficient shade
Infectious diseases (greasy pig disease,
diamond skin disease = erysipelas) –
prevent by good hygiene, vaccinate
against erysipelas, treat with antibiotics
Other skin problems
A – treated wound
B – Sunburned
C – Erysipelas
(diamond skin
D – Greasy pig
Diarrhoea (scours)
Unweaned piglets: infectious causes
Weaners: change from milk to solid food,
infectious causes especially colibacillosis
Growers: infectious causes (swine
dysentery, ileitis)
Prevent by good hygiene and diet, keep
piglets warm, avoid sudden change in
feed, vaccination and treatment as
Other abdominal problems
Worms – cause poor growth
• Infectious diseases: prevent by good
• Stomach ulcers: prevent by balanced diet, feed
not too fine
• Poisoning: keep poisons safe, make sure feed
is not too salty, unlimited access to water
• Sows in late pregnancy: feed bran and/or
green feed
Other abdominal problems
Rectal prolapse
• Causes are abdominal pressure, mouldy feed
• Isolate pig, feed wet feed, leave to heal
Abdominal pain – arched back, groaning
• Causes are stomach ulcers, organ
displacement, constipation, disease
Organ displacement
• Usually spleen or stomach in sows after
farrowing, invariably fatal
• Prevent by calm conditions, feeding 3 x per
Abdominal problems
A – scours
C – large
D – rectal
Airway problems
Clinical signs are coughing, sneezing,
discharge from eyes or nose, noisy
Atrophic rhinitis (leads to a deformed
• Prevent with good ventilation, reduce
• Where the problem exists, can vaccinate
sows and use in-feed medication
Causes include viruses, bacteria, worms,
inhalation of foreign material, bad
ventilation and dust or ammonia build-up
Cold and draughts predispose pigs to
Signs include fever, slow or uneven
growth, coughing, difficult breathing
Prevent by good hygiene, clean dry
environment, de-worming; monitor lungs
of slaughtered pigs for signs of chronic
Treat infectious causes with antibiotics
Fever is a sign that
the body temperature
is abnormally high
Signs are skin
flushing, not eating,
panting, tremors,
lying down, not
wanting to move, pigs
huddling together
Always a sign of a
serious disease or
Infectious causes of fever
May be other signs e.g. vomiting, diarrhoea,
coughing, difficult breathing
Bacterial diseases (septicaemia, pneumonia)
• Often one age group affected, usually younger pigs
• May respond to antibiotic treatment
Viral diseases (African or classical swine fever,
• May affect all age groups
• No treatment possible
• These diseases must be reported (see notifiable
Heat stroke
Usually affects adult pigs
Occurs on very hot days if the pigs have
no shade, housing becomes very hot, or
they are transported when it is hot
Pigs become recumbent, pant, do not
want to move, no other signs of disease
Throw as much cool water as possible
over them, arrange shade or move them
to a cooler area
Transport pigs in the cool part of the day
or at night, cover the vehicle but ensure
ventilation, do not stop on the way
Lameness and Paralysis
Lameness – pigs limping, holding a foot of
the ground, unable to get up, swollen
• Sore feet or legs due to arthritis, injury, bone
problems, cracked or split claws
Paralysis – pigs unable to move part or
whole of body
• Usually due to spinal injury or to poisoning
Cull pig unless the problem can be treated
Lame pig
Pale pigs - Anaemia
Iron deficiency
• Young piglets on cement: give iron
injection in first 7 days of life, or dump
red soil in pen – it contains iron and
anaemic pigs will eat it
Blood loss
• Through stomach ulcers, bloody
diarrhoea, parasites
• Treat intestinal infections, ulcers,
Reproductive problems
Infertility – no piglets:
• Sow infertile: not cycling, or diseased
Make sure gilt/sow is coming on heat – test by firm
pressure on the back when standing
Check for genital discharges and urinary problems
• Boar infertility
Make sure that mating is taking place
If not the boar may have back or leg pain or poor
• Pre-natal death
Hot weather, too few foetuses (less than 4), or a
disease can cause piglets to be resorbed in early
Reproductive problems
Abortions and stillbirths – piglets are
aborted during pregnancy or born dead at
term (aborted piglets not always seen)
• Abortions: various infectious diseases,
hormonal failure, metritis, mouldy feed,
constipation, sunburn or excessive heat, old
• Stillbirths: various infectious diseases, delayed
or difficult birth process (more often in older
Unless fertility problems can be resolved
easily, it is better to cull infertile sows and
boars; do not let sows or boars get too old
Any Questions?
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