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Common Pig Diseases & How to Prevent Them

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In livestock farming such as hog raising, the health of your animals will always be top priority. It’s important to be on the lookout for unusual behaviors or appearances as these may be symptoms of sicknesses and ill conditions that could worsen over time and affect the overall health of the farm. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of common pig diseases should greatly help you be on top of your farm’s heath. To help you, check out this quick read on the common pig diseases with symptoms and suggestions on how to treat them. 

Exudative Dermatitis or greasy pig disease

Caused by an infection with the Staphylococcus hyicus bacteria, this disease manifests through skin lesions. They first appear as dark spots on the skin which later spreads and becomes flaky with a greasy feel. If left untreated, exudative dermatitis mortality can lead to death as the bacteria may damage the liver and kidneys. 

Treatment & Prevention: the infection is treated with antibiotics, skin protectants and autogenous vaccines. For prevention, the key is to reduce the potential of skin abrasions, and to keep the pen and pigs clean. Experts also recommend to do teat dipping on the sows, as well as pre- and post-farrowing. 

Coccidiosis

Caused by three types of coccidia intracellular parasite, Coccidiosis is mainly accompanied by diarrhea which can be bloody at times. This usually shows from during the 10 – 21 day age range, up to 15 weeks of age. 

Treatment & Prevention: sows can be treated with coccidiostats and fluid therapy. Improving hygiene conditions on the farm would be of great help to preventing infection and spread of the disease. 

Respiratory Diseases

As with humans, pigs and animal farms are not immune to coughing, sneezing, heavy breathing and the other symptoms that come with respiratory diseases.

Treatment & Prevention: Whether injected or mixed in with food and water, antibiotics are useful for treating respiratory diseases. It also helps to make sure that there is proper ventilation in the farm, and that the pigs’ immune system is up. Some forms of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination. Be sure to consult a veterinarian for proper vaccination. 

Swine Dysentery

Swine Dysentery is caused by a bacteria called Brachyspira Hyodsenteriae, and impedes a pig’s growth rate and triggers diarrhea. In severe cases, the disease may be fatal. 

Treatment & Prevention: the disease is treated with antibiotics. To prevent and control its spread, experts recommend control over stock volume and the introduction of new stock, as well as keeping the farm clean and free from pests. 

Mastitis

Common in sows with symptoms such as reduced milk production, skin discolorations, high body temperature and loss of appetite, Mastitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the mammary glands. 

Treatment & Prevention: antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can help. Along with proper nutrition for healthy pregnancy and a boosted immunity, keeping the farm clean lowers the chances of the animals catching this infection. 

Porcine Parvovirus

Parvovirus is pretty tricky to spot as its symptoms are similar to those of other reproductive diseases. It can infect pregnant sows, trigger reproductive diseases and affect pig litter size.

Treatment & Prevention: there are no treatments for Porcine Parvovirus. Prevention is key, through regular vaccination of gilts. 

Read more features on pig and poultry care, and farm tips from UNAHCO.

Sources: 

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

https://agronomag.com/most-common-pig-diseases/

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/swine-disease-information

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