Hog Raising Business Guide, Part 8 Diseases

Common Swine Diseases

1. Brucellosis or contagious abortion

Brucellosis of pigs or contagious abortion, also known as Bang’s disease is caused by bacteria scientifically known as Brucella suis that is shed in milk or by the aborted fetus, afterbirth or other reproductive tract discharges.

There is no effective way to detect this disease. Abortion or birth of weak piglets is the most obvious sign. Abortion happens when the sow is at its second or third month of pregnancy. The sow may demonstrate irregular heat cycles and stillbirths may occur. Milk production is reduced due to changes in normal lactation period caused by abortions
and delayed conceptions. Other signs of this disease include enlarged arthritic joints, paralysis and lameness. This disease is not necessarily fatal, unless it is complicated by metritis.

This disease is transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal or environment or equipment contaminated with discharges from infected animals.

Weight loss and stillbirths damages the farm profitability. This disease may also be transmitted to humans and rapidly spreads. Therefore prevention of this disease should be given importance. Sanitation and strict hygienic measures should be applied in the hog house. Breeding animals should be purchased from certified herds. Animals tested positive for this disease should be disposed immediately to prevent contamination.

A high incidence of this disease in the hog house should necessitate replacement of the entire herd and restocking after six to eight months.

2. Hog cholera

Hog Cholera, now commonly known as classical swine fever, is a highly contagious viral disease. This disease occurs in an acute, sub acute, chronic or persistent form.

Hog Cholera is characterized by high fever and loss of appetite. Pigs with hog cholera suffer from constipation which is later followed by diarrhea. Other symptoms include increased thirst, chills, and vomiting. There is inflammation of the eye with discharges that cause the eyelids to close. There is also a reddish purple discoloration of skin at the ears, abdomen, inner thighs or tail.

Chronic hog cholera terminates in pneumonia or hemorrhagic enteritis or both. This disease has a high morbidity and mortality rate as death follows in four to seven days of sign onset.

The common source of this infection is uncooked slops or kitchen scraps. Thus feeding this to the pigs should be avoided.

This disease may be prevented by administering vaccination to all pigs. Sows and boars must be vaccinated every six months and piglets weaned at one week should be vaccinated before or after weaning.

If this disease penetrates the hog house, all pigs known to have contracted this disease should be disposed immediately. Contaminated areas should be cleaned and disinfected properly.

3. Gastroentiritis complex / scouring (diarrhea)

Gastroentiritis or scouring is commonly cause by irritation of he small intestine by parasites, bacteria, or by sudden diet changes.

Conditions that cause gastroenteritis complex include dietary scours, colibacillosis, balantidiosis, dysentery, and gastrointestinal parasites. Dietary scours are caused by sudden changes in the diet, thus feeds must be introduced to pigs gradually over a period of seven days. Colibacilosis is commonly caused by stress factors like weaning, transport,
and vaccination.

Colibacilosis can also be caused by a contaminated water supply or a change in feed, as these upsets the balance of bacteria in the pig intestines. Balantidiosis is caused by contaminated water or contaminated forage like kangkong. Overcrowding of animals which is often followed by a lack of deworming causes most cases of gastrointestinal parasites. Dysentery resuls from transport stress, and contaminated feeds like kitchen scraps.

Gastroeniritis characterized by diarrhea must be corrected immediately by administering fluids to infected animals. Infected animals should be diagnosed by a veterinarian and should be treated according to diagnosis.

4. Mastitis-metritis-agalactia syndrome or MMA syndrome, also known as postpartum dysgalactia, is commonly caused by nonspecific or unknown sources. Mastitis and agalactia is the absence or lack of milk in sows.

MMA syndrome may be caused by infection or stress from excitement or difficulty in farrowing. This condition may also be caused by digestive difficulty or by environmental factors.

Metritis is referred as the nonspecific inflammation of he uterus and is associated with abortion, difficult delivery, or retained placenta.

Symptoms of MMA syndrome include abnormal body temperature, reddish-brown mucus discharge with tissues of placental membranes that attract flies. There is also tenderness and warmth in the mammary tissue.

Prevention of MMA syndrome can be done by regularly checking the health status of the breeding sows. Sows with a history in breeding troubles should be replaced. Reduce incidence of MMA by providing proper diet, exercise, and clean, disinfected farrowing environment. A highly digestible, mild laxative ration should be provided for sows after
farrowing. Stress and udder injuries should be eliminated.

Affected sows by mastitis may be treated by antibiotic infusion into the udder. Hot compress and mild antiseptic should be applied externally. A pituitary extract containing oxytoxin should be administered.

Metritis may be treated by inserting antibiotics inside the uterus and systematic administration of sulfa injections and other antibiotics.

5. Pneumonia-Disease Complex

Pneumonia-disease complex is characterized by coughing, difficulty in breathing, sneezing, chilling, eye and nasal discharge, and muscular cramps Symptoms of this disease are associated with swine plague, swine flu, athropic rhinitis and enzootic pneumonia.

This disease may be prevented by proper management, and a hygienic and well ventilated housing. Overcrowding should be avoided as most respiratory diseases are caused by inhalation of infected air particles. Clean water should be provided at all times, as well as nutritious feed and a vitamin-antibiotic feed supplement.

Known treatment is not available for swine flu, swine plague and enzootic pneumonia. Antibiotics like tetracycline and sulfa drugs may be used for prevention. Speedy recovery may be achieved by use of stimulants and antiseptics.

6. Roundworm Infection

Roundworm infection is caused by the bacterial agent scientifically known as Ascaris lumbricoides. Symptoms of this disease depends heavily on the number of worms present in the pigs, management and nutrition of the animals. Pigs infected with this disease demonstrate a slow growth rate, thinness, thick and dull hair growth. Pigs may expel worms through vomit or feces.

This disease may be treated by oral administration of a de-wormer through fees or drinking water. Piperazine de-wormers are effective treatment of this disease.

7. Swine Dysentery

Swine Dysentery is caused by the bacteria Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. This disease is common to pigs at weight twelve to 75 kg. Severe cases sometimes occur in sows and their sucking piglets. The bacteria associated with these diseases causes a severe inflammation of the large intestine with dysentery or bloody mucus diarrhea.

This disease is characterized by loss of appetite, fever, weakness, rough coat and watery feces spotted with blood or mucus. Twitching of the tail, slight reddening of the skin, sunken eyes and dehydration may also be observed. Sudden death may occur in heavy finisher pigs.

Antibiotics in feed for two weeks may be used to treat this disease. New arrivals should be quarantined for seven days and fed high-level antibiotics to prevent this disease.

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