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A Cheatsheet on How to Manage and Treat Sick Pigs

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With sick pigs, treatment is essential to keep your herd and business flourishing. Therefore it is important to know how to spot symptoms of common diseases, as well as how to care for and treat them. Listing down the world’s six most common pig diseases, this cheat sheet will guide you on how to manage and treat sick pigs.

Contingency Plan

Hog raisers should be able to detect signs of illness in their pigs. Once diagnosed, alerting the manager or veterinarian should be done right away so that affected animals may be treated immediately. 

As part of your herd health plan, your farm must also have a “hospital pen” for disease containment. Suitable medication is then prescribed by the veterinarian for sick pigs treatment. Administration of these medications should be followed precisely.

Most Common Pig Diseases

Pre-weaning Diseases

Exudative dermatitis (greasy pig)

Caused by Staphylococcus hyicus, this happens when bacteria enter the system through wounds. You’ll notice this on your pigs when their body becomes covered with moist, greasy exudate (oil release) of sebum and serum. These become flaky with a greasy feel.

When this happens, rough floors, jagged teeth, sharp equipment, or even mange mites bites should be avoided to lessen skin abrasions. To achieve this, regular disinfection of pens must be maintained. Aseptic procedures must also be observed during castration, and tail, teeth and umbilical cord cutting. 
For treatment, your veterinarian may prescribe Amoxicillin (Amovet) and Trimethoprim Sulfadimethoxine (Baxidil SE).

Coccidiosis

There are three types of parasites that cause this disease: Eimeria, Isospora, and Cryptosporidia. If your animal has been having diarrhea that does not respond well with antibiotic treatment, this is most likely the case.

It is best to disinfect and clean pens, keep pens dry, control flies, and avoid floor feeding in the event of Coccidiosis, and even before that.

In treating this illness, you may get Toltrazuril (Dr. COX) and Trimethoprim Sulfadimethoxine (Baxidil SE).

Post-weaning Diseases

Porcine pleuropneumonia

Actinobacillus pleuropnuemoniae causes this disease, and produces severe damage to the lungs. To identify this illness, look out for bloody discharges from mouth and nose, and the turning of blue of ears and extremities.

To manage pleuropneumonia, control carriers (such as people and equipment), avoid overcrowding and stressful conditions, and opt for vaccination.

Enrofloxacin (Bacterid), Ciprofloxacin (Quinomax), and Tylosin Doxycycline Paracetamol Prednisolone Bromhexine (Vetracin Ultima) may be prescribed by your vet when your pigs experience this illness.

Swine dysentery

This illness is caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae which brings about severe inflammation of large intestines. To know if your pigs have this, look out for watery, mucoid, and bloody diarrhea.

For intervention, avoid overcrowding, disinfect regularly, keep pens dry, and control possible carriers like dogs, cats, mice, etc.

Treatment options for swine dysentery include Tiamulin Doxycycline Vitamin A Vitamin B12 (Vetracin Gold) and Tylosin Doxycycline Paracetamol Prednisolone Bromhexine (Vetracin Ultima).

Breeding Stock

MMA (Mastitis, metritis and agalactia)

MMA is a common infection of sows after farrowing. This results in inflammation of the uterus and udders. To spot this disease in your sows, look out for fever, inappetence, and failure of milk production. Piglets may also catch this disease, and ones ymptom that can manifest is diarrhea.

For intervention, disinfect pens, provide enough water, avoid slippery flooring, and generally maintain good body conditions of sows.

Your vet may prescribe Oxytetracycline Thiamphenicol Dexamethasone (Avitron), Enrofloxacin (Bacterid), and Oxytetracycline (Sustalin LA) to treat MMA.

Endometritis

A swine disease that causes poor reproductive performance of sows. It is a bacterial infection in the reproductive tract, which you may recognize if there is vulval discharge.

For management and intervention, apply a preventive medication program, ensure sterile breeding procedures, and disinfect pens.

Ask your veterinarian for Amoxicillin (Amovet), Enrofloxacin (Bacterid), and Cephalexin (Zeflexin) as treatment options for endometritis.

It is important to know sick pigs treatment  so that proper care and action can be administered immediately.  Disinfecting pens and maintaining  good hygiene in your farm is essential in the prevention and management of swine diseases. Pig raisers generally need to provide an environment that is optimal for the animal, in sickness or in health.

Other Illnesses on the UNIVET Swine Diseases guide:

Enteric

1. Colibacillosis

2. Ileitis

Respiratory

3. Swine enzootic pneumonia

4. Atrophic Rhinitis

Systemic

5. Erysipelas

6. Glasser’s disease

Miscellaneous

7. Cracked hooves

8. Joint Infection

9. Skin problems

10. Parasitism

Sources:

https://www.wattagnet.com/articles/25841-most-common-pig-diseases-worldwide

https://www.thepigsite.com/disease-and-welfare/managing-disease/managing-and-treating-the-sick-pig

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