The most common diseases of pigs

Diseases of pigs should be known to every farmer who decides to start breeding these animals. At the first symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian. Only a specialist can correctly diagnose and take the necessary measures. In some pathologies, animals are sent for slaughter, in others, treatment is prescribed. Knowing their characteristics is necessary in order not to miss the moment when you can save the animal or the entire population.

Infectious diseases of pigs:

  • bacterial;
  • viral;
  • fungal.

Parasitic diseases:

  • caused by internal parasites;
  • ectoparasitic.

Non-communicable diseases of pigs :

  • congenital pathologies;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • vitamin deficiencies;
  • inflammatory diseases;
  • purulent surgical pathologies;
  • injuries.

Signs of pathologies can differ greatly from each other, but there are general symptoms. A sick animal becomes lethargic, loses its appetite, lies for a long time, buried in the litter. With a long course of the disease, pigs lose weight. Infections are often accompanied by fever.

Below we look at the most common diseases from different groups. To learn more about pathologies, it is worth considering a photo of sick animals and looking at the veterinary directory.

Bacterial infections of pigs

Bacterial diseases of pigs are quite common. Causes of occurrence: livestock in dirty pigsties, introduction of pathogens from other farms. The treatment of such pathologies is quite successful, antibiotics of different groups are used. Failure to make a timely diagnosis, animals may die. Infections have the ability to spread epizootically.

Swine erysipelas

The disease is caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which is very resistant to environmental factors. In another way, this pathology is called erisepeloid.The infection is dangerous to humans and can cause serious acute or chronic illness. In pigs, pathology options can also be acute, subacute and chronic.

Symptoms and treatment, as well as the causes of this pathology, are fairly well understood. In pigs, the temperature rises, and appetite decreases. A characteristic feature is rounded or square spots on different parts of the body that appear about a day after the onset of the disease, a vesicular rash on the skin. For treatment use Bitsilin-5, penicillin. A vaccine has also been developed for swine erysipelas.

Pig dysentery

Dysentery is an intestinal infection caused by a spirochete. The source of infection can be sick and ill pigs. It is transmitted alimentarily, with food and drink. The incubation period lasts from 2 to 30 days. A sick pig eats poorly, her temperature rises, diarrhea occurs very soon, streaks of blood are visible in the feces, its color is gray or black. When diarrhea occurs, the temperature drops sharply. Periodically, diarrhea can be replaced by constipation.

The weaned piglets have a pronounced hemorrhagic component of colitis, and there is a lot of mucus in the feces. In suckers, bowel movements are watery, liquid, plentiful, which quickly leads to dehydration. The mortality rate among young animals is very high. Dysentery is treated with antibiotics, sulfa drugs. The same medicines are sometimes given to pigs for the purpose of prevention.

Salmonellosis in pigs

Salmonellosis is another intestinal infection that is quite common and dangerous to humans. Called by salmonella, transmitted through food. The incubation period lasts from day to week. On the first day, the main manifestation of the disease is fever. From the second day, fetid diarrhea appears, green feces, resembles swamp mud. In severe and chronic cases, pneumonia and purulent rhinitis join.

The disease is especially severe in newborn piglets: they quickly lose weight, refuse to eat. Diarrhea leads to significant loss of fluid and death. Treatment consists of prescribing antibiotics, nitrofurans, sulfonamides. It is important to replenish the water balance of the pig’s body. The basis of prevention is to remove the causes and routes of transmission, feed the pigs with fresh, high-quality food and keep it clean.


One of the most dangerous infectious diseases of pigs. Called by the stick Pasteurella multicida. It is transmitted by alimentary and aerogenic routes. Incubation can last from 1 day to 2 weeks. In acute cases, the pigs are affected by lungs, signs of pneumonia, purulent discharge from the nose, cough. An illness in fulminant form can kill an animal in a couple of days, while the pig does not eat well, lies, and its temperature rises sharply.

Sometimes pasteurellosis is chronic. Joints are affected in pigs, and eczema appears on the skin.Often, the disease is combined with other pathologies, including intestinal and viral infections. For treatment, pigs are given antibiotics econovocillin and dibiomycin with a prolonged effect. To increase efficiency, they are combined with a tetracycline series, penicillins.

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Viral diseases of pigs

Among all infectious diseases, viral pathologies are the most dangerous. To date, there are very few drugs that would act on them with many viral infections are still incurable. After the illness, pigs often remain carriers for life. The only effective preventive measure is vaccination.

Classical and African swine fever

Classical (CSF) and African (ASF) plague are the 2 most dangerous infectious diseases of this animal species. They are capable of destroying all livestock in a couple of days. Viruses are very resistant, therefore they can be transported over long distances. Plague is transmitted through food, care items, and transportation. The carriers are often people, wild and stray animals, rodents.

The symptoms of both infectious diseases are similar.First, the pig rises in temperature, she eats poorly, constantly lies, she vomits. Then, point hemorrhages and large purple spots appear on the body of the animal. Sometimes you can see purulent pustules on the skin. Death occurs after 1-7 days, depending on the form of the disease. Chronicle is rare.

Classical plague causes the death of piglets in 80-100% of cases. There is a vaccine against it that protects the livestock. The treatment has not been developed. African plague has 100% mortality; vaccines do not exist. The only way to protect yourself is to follow strict sanitary rules. During an outbreak, all pigs are destroyed and burned within a radius of 25 km. In the territory where the African plague was discovered, strict quarantine is declared. This species of animals can be bred there only after a year.

Foot and mouth disease in pigs

The disease is caused by a virus that affects not only pigs, but also cattle, sheep, goats, and can to be dangerous to humans. Transmitted from sick and recovering animals through air and food. In adult pigs, a vesicular rash appears on the skin around the udder, on the hooves, around the stigma, eyes, ears, as well as in the mouth and nose. Then it turns into erosion and sores, the skin becomes edematous. General symptoms are mild, after about 3-4 weeks the ulcer surface heals, the rash disappears.

The pathology is much more severe in newborn piglets and weaners.They have gastroenteritis, changes in the heart, neurological symptoms. If the pig gets sick, his chance of dying is very high. Often, pregnant sows with foot and mouth disease abort. Treatment for this pathology is ineffective. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated on time.

Parvovirus infection

Parvovirus infection is caused by the Parvovirus suis virus. In adult boars and pigs, it is asymptomatic. Animals secrete the pathogen with feces, urine, vaginal secretions and sperm for 2 weeks. This virus is dangerous for pigs in that the uterus gives birth to dead piglets. If the infection occurs in the first month of pregnancy, the fruits simply dissolve and the female begins to estrus again.

The diagnosis of parvovirus infection is made when the sows do not conceive, dead mummified fruits are born. Sometimes piglets are born alive, but they have low body weight, severe anemia. Young growth perishes in 2-3 days. For the prevention of all females and breeding boars, producers are vaccinated every six months. Measures are being taken to prevent the introduction of infectious pathogens from other farms.

Circovirus infection

Circovirus infection manifests itself in young, weaned piglets. It is carried from adult pigs through urine and feces. Often, the first symptoms appear immediately after birth.Piglets show tremor, difficulty in sucking, apathy and drowsiness, their body turns blue. Older piglets have anemia, cough, shortness of breath, jaundice, weight loss, white-muscular dystrophy, and signs of central nervous system damage.

More recently, a vaccine has been released against this infection. In Western countries, 80-95% of individuals on industrial farms are already vaccinated. Treatment for circovirus disease in piglets has not yet been developed. To prevent the little pig from getting sick, he should be vaccinated.

Viral pathologies such as pseudorabies or Aujeszky’s disease and Teshen’s disease are much less common. Pseudo-rabies is caused by swine herpes virus, which affects the nervous system, provokes convulsions, paralysis and death of animals, especially young animals. With Teshen disease, serous encephalomyelitis develops. Piglets have paralysis of the front legs and the entire upper half of the body, a shaky gait appears. Pathology in most cases ends with death.

Parasitic diseases of pigs

Parasitic or invasive diseases in pigs can be caused by protozoa, helminths, and also insects that live on the skin. These pathologies are contagious, but they do not cause large outbreaks with high mortality. Treatment, prophylaxis and prognosis depend on each particular type of disease.

Pyroplasmosis in pigs

Pyroplasmosis is caused by intracellular parasites that are transmitted through tick bites.Outbreaks of the disease occur in the spring and summer. A characteristic sign of invasion is hemolytic anemia, which is manifested by jaundice. The pig also develops a hemorrhagic rash on the skin, red urine, pig is sluggish and eats nothing. The nervous system is often affected.

In the blood, signs of hemolysis, leukopenia are revealed. Pork plague, leptospirosis, hemophilic polyserositis, or Glesser’s disease have similar symptoms and description, because pathology is differentiated by these diseases. Flavocridin, acaprine, azidine, berenyl and other antiparasitic drugs are used for treatment.

Pig coccidiosis

The disease causes a parasite that lives inside the cells of the intestinal mucosa and bile ducts. Pigs are infected by eating feed in the walking areas. When propagating in cells, the pathogen causes inflammation and necrosis. The disease manifests itself in pigs with temperature, loss of appetite, weakness, profuse diarrhea, weight loss.

Coccidiosis is very often complicated by other bacterial intestinal infections. For treatment, drugs such as Beykoks, Brovaseptol, Tribrisen, Trivaseptin are used. The same drugs are given primarily for prevention to pregnant females.


Parasitic diseases, which are called cestodoses, are caused by tapeworms. These worms parasitize in the intestines of the pig. Larvae with blood flow enter various organs and tissues.They can be introduced into the muscles, liver and even the brain. The main symptoms of the disease are weight loss, anemia, diarrhea, followed by constipation. With large sizes of capsules with larvae, symptoms of tumors of various organs can occur. Most often found in pigs:

  • echinococcosis;
  • alveococcosis;
  • cysticercosis.

Use anthelmintic for treatment drugs that act on tapeworms. Prevention consists in overexposure of hygiene rules when raising pigs.


The helminthic invasions that are caused by roundworms are called nematodoses. Adult worms from this group parasitize in the intestines of the pig. Larvae enter the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth, and then penetrate the blood through the walls of the intestine and stomach and enter the lungs. When they mature, they again enter the mouth with mucus through the trachea and are swallowed. In the intestinal stage, animals may experience constipation, diarrhea, and decreased appetite and weight. At the stage of the larva – cough and other signs of bronchitis. Of the nematodoses in pigs, there are:

  • ascariasis;
  • trichinosis;
  • chiostrongilez;
  • metastrongyles;
  • physocephalosis;
  • strongyloidosis;
  • acanthocephalosis.

The treatment is carried out with antiparasitic agents to which roundworms are sensitive. Prevention is the same as with other parasitic diseases.


Most often from pig ectoparasites, ticks and lice are concerned. Ticks bloodsuckers fall on the skin of a pig from the environment during walks, from the litter collected in the fields and in the forest. They suck temporarily until they get drunk blood. The main danger of such parasites is the transfer of various infectious diseases.

There are ticks that live inside the skin and feed on epithelial cells. The disease they cause is called scabies or scabies. A sick pig itches, specific redness appears on her body, the pattern of which resembles the interweaving of many paths. There is a tick that affects the pig’s ear. Black or brown patches with small dots can be seen in the auricle.

Lice do not bother domestic pigs very often, as they prefer animals with a thicker coat. If these parasites settled on light pig skin, they are quite noticeable. You can see whitish eggs on the bristles. The animal behaves uneasily, itches, with a massive lesion, anemia can develop. The main way to combat ectoparasites is insecticides. You can prevent their appearance by regular cleaning and periodic treatment of the pigsty insects. It is also necessary to deal with rodents, the main carriers of parasites.

Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable pathologies most often arise due to metabolic disorders, improper feeding and maintenance.Some diseases in pigs are associated with congenital malformations, as well as injuries.

Peptic ulcer

This pathology occurs when a pig eats poor-quality feed, can result in severe stress. The first sign is loss of appetite, decreased activity. In the future, vomiting with bile may occur after eating, bleeding, black feces. They treat the disease with a diet, give antibacterial drugs, acidity reducing drugs, improve the healing of the gastric mucosa.

Dyspepsia and gastroenteritis

Pathologies occur in suckling pigs if they are quickly weaned and transferred to an adult diet. Manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat, the temperature in most cases remains normal. Sick piglets are transferred to easily digestible feed, liquid chatterboxes and cereals. Then you can gradually introduce boiled potatoes, sugar beets, decoctions of flax and oatmeal. For the prevention of intestinal infections, nitrofurans and sulfonamides are given.

Pneumonia and bronchitis

Pulmonary diseases are most often associated with maintenance in cold or dusty rooms, in a draft. Pigs begin to cough, wheeze, shortness of breath appears. Often, respiratory symptoms from the upper respiratory tract join – a runny nose, hoarseness of the voice. In most cases, the temperature rises, animals weaken, eat poorly. For treatment using antibiotics or antibacterial expectorant.

Anemia and vitamin deficiency

These non-infectious pathologies are associated with the wrong diet of pigs, which does not provide them with all the necessary substances. Also, their cause may be congenital metabolic disorders, latent infections, helminth infections. With anemia, the skin of the piglets is pale, they are weak, poorly recover. For treatment, drugs containing iron are used, and the pig menu is being reviewed.

Each vitamin deficiency has its own specific clinical picture. Small piglets are most often deficient in vitamin D. Because of this, they develop rickets. Bet this disease, the skeleton does not develop properly, muscle weakness appears, interruptions in the work of the heart. If the sow is deficient in vitamin E, she may experience miscarriages or have fertilization problems. With a deficiency of B vitamins, disorders of the nervous system and blood formation come to the fore. A lack of ascorbic acid leads to a decrease in immunity, bleeding from the mucous membranes may appear.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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