Dealing with sick pigs
Some of the pigs will fall sick occasionally so it is important to know the symptoms of a sick pig in order to take precautionary measures.
A sick pig may show the following signs:
- It may not eat or not show interest in feed /water
- It may breathe rapidly – an indication of a fever
- In white skin-colored pigs, the skin may become reddish.
- It may have diarrhea which may sometimes be bloody or blood stained.
- Droopy ears or ears pointing downwards.
- Dull eyes.
- Dull skin and hair.
- Its tail will become limp.
- It separates itself from the rest
Some diseases which affect pigs are explained below.
Tapeworms are flat and long ribbon like creatures. Pork measles is caused by tapeworms which live in the muscles of pigs. They do not usually affect the pig, but can lead to pain and the pig may find it difficult to move around. When people eat under-cooked measly pork, the worms develop inside the people, and can make them very sick.
- Anorexia in advanced stages.
- Anaemia – loss of blood.
- Weight loss in later stages.
- When the worms die suddenly after treatment, they can block the gut and cause sudden death
- Control with medicine in the feedd is useful
- Provide clean and dry pens.
- Rotational grazing and periodic disinfection of pastures.
- Separation of young ones from adults.
- Washing sows before farrowing.
- Periodic deworming
- Herbal treatment: herbs such as moringa are considered to be antihelmintic (able to kill intestinal worms)
2. Swine Dysentery
It is known by a number of names, including bloody diarrhoea, hemorrhagic enteritis bloody scours and black scours. It affects pigs of all ages, sometimes causing death.
- In acute cases wasting and passing of diarrhoea containing varying amounts of mucus, blood and necrotic material.
- In chronic cases, pigs have greyish or brownish faeces, rough hair coat and low growth rate.
- Delay reusing the pens of infected animals.
- Disinfect pens.
- Some herbal medicines (moringa tree leaves) can be used to relieve the symptoms of diarrhoea and dehydration
- Use antibiotics as prescribed by a veterinary doctor
3. Swine fever/Hog cholera
- Lesions on the body
- Fall in temperature before onset of clinical signs
- Reddening of skin and ears.
- Incordination of hind limbs.
- Constipation diarrhoea, anorexia.
- The animal dies the next day after the attack. 95 – 100% mortality.
Prevention and treatment
- Boiling of swill
- Restriction of movement of meat from infected areas
- No therapy (treatment)
Anthrax in pigs is relatively rare and it is present with Sudden death; it can also be present differently based on the location of the infection: pharynx anthrax, intestinal anthrax or systemic anthrax.
It is very critical to carry out a necropsy in the field because the environment can get contaminated with the spores. Anthrax is a zoonotic disease.
Alternative names: Bacillus anthracis
- Oedema and swelling of the neck region
- Dysponea (breathing difficulty)
- Fever, anorexia and passage of bloody feaces
- Sudden death
Prevention and treatment
- Use antibiotics (penicillin) as prescribed by a veterinary doctor.
- Thorough disinfection of the farm and burning of carcasses.
Reference: pigsite, letstalkagric.com