Pigs are susceptible to infections, and diseases can mean huge losses, when you are keeping small or big herds. Here is a list of common pig diseases and health conditions, and the ways you can improve chances of your pig survival by paying attention to the symptoms and providing the required medical attention.
Pigs can be infected with roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms thrive in the pig's gut, whereas tapeworms live in the pig's muscles. Roundworms can damage the liver and lungs of the pig, and can lead to death. Tapeworms on the other hand are quite painful for the pig, and the movements of the pig will become limited. However, tapeworm is more dangerous for humans who eat pork that is infected with tapeworm.
The symptom of worms is usually the feces of the affected pig will be green or white in color. Other symptoms include vomiting and loose motions. De-worm pigs regularly, and avoid hard floors for pigpens.
Dysentery is a common disease for pigs of every age, but it is more common amongst younger pigs. If treatment is delayed, it can lead to many complications and even death. Signs like elevated temperature, loss of appetite, and weight loss are good indicators, but the sure sign is watery feces, which may contain blood. Treat the affected pigs with antibiotics immediately.
Pig lice are large and therefore quite easy to detect. They are parasites that suck blood, which reduce vitality and immunity in pigs. Lice also make pigs restless and irritable. If you notice lice or the symptoms, spray the pen and the herd with the appropriate insecticide.
Mange is caused by mites, which is another parasite. Pigs infected with mange will scratch and itch continuously, and rub their bodies against hard objects and walls. You will find ribbed lines, heavy crusts, and bare patches on their body. Mange is treated by medicinal injections, applications, and sprays.
The body of a pig is quite disproportionate and they have quite small feet compared to the size of their upper body. Hence, their feet can get hurt quite easily on sharp surfaces or floor cracks. The injured leg or legs will get sore quite fast, and the pig will not be able to place weight on the leg, and will become lame. You will notice the condition when you find the pig is continuously lying or sitting down, and does not get up even when food is placed nearby. To avoid foot rot, make sure the pen has even flooring and there are no sharp edges on the floor. Also, stop the pigs from wandering into marshy areas.
Overall Prevention of Pig Diseases
Maintaining hygiene goes a long way in preventing most pig diseases. Make sure the pens are clean and dry, and there are no rodents. Always keep plentiful supply of drinking water in clean containers. Pig dung should be regularly removed to prevent fly infestation. The dung can be covered with soil to make compost.