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Happy pigs are Healthy pigs - FAQ's - 2011

Bob's Q&A sessions appear first in Practical Pigs Magazine - free to all BPA members

Winter 2011 - click here for answers

Q I have a few chickens and ducks which have contact with my Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs. Recently, a friend told me that pigs can catch diseases from chickens, and explained that coccidiosis can spread to the pigs. Is this actually true, and are there other conditions that I ought to be aware and/or concerned about?  

Q Iím looking after one of my neighbourís young Saddleback pigs. The animal is assisting several others in clearing a wood. However, Iím concerned now because heís just become reluctant to leave the railway wagon, and appears to me to be generally uncomfortable. Iíve also noticed that heís grinding his teeth and, more worrying still, heís stopped eating and drinking. Is there something I can give him, or should I simply call my vet?  

Q What are the requirements for pigs to be kept out of doors? I have always wanted a few pigs rooting about in a paddock. Iím about to fulfill my dream and buy two sows from a local farmer, so some basic information about this before I start would be a great help.  

Q I have a Gloucestershire Old Spots gilt thatís become suddenly lame. She is easy to handle and I canít see any obvious swellings or cuts. Whatís more she shows no reaction or discomfort when her leg is handled. Is it likely to get better on its own, or should she receive some sort of treatment?  

Q I have two sows, and the GOS x Welsh produced her first litter three days ago. Last night she seemed fine and ate her supper normally. However, this morning Iíve noticed that she seems reluctant to eat or drink, and appears uninterested in her litter of seven robust pigs. What needs to be done to help? 

Autumn 2011- click here for answers

Q Three weeks ago I took my pigs to with the results they gained. My pleasure rapidly disappeared though when, after three weeks, two of my show pigs developed a deep cough, and became very unwell. Their temperatures were recorded at 41-42įC and my vet had to visit and provide treatment. This is the only show Iíve been to this year, and the experience has put me off showing in future. If I want to show pigs next year, is there something that I can do to avoid something similar? 

Q During a recent conversation with some pig-keeping friends, we touched on the administering of iron to piglets. It would seem that some inject iron into young piglets, others give it by mouth as a paste, and a third group simply place sods of turf in with the mother and her litter. Iíve not carried out any of these procedures so far, but would be very interested in your thoughts and advice concerning the need to give iron to piglets?  

Q Iím having some trouble with lice on a few pigs. I donít know whether the eggs and lice are connected, but Iím sending a photo of eggs attached to hair and a Ďbugí that I managed to catch. Louse powder has no effect. Can you help with some advice about what I should do? 

Q Iíve been keeping pigs for two years but recently found small, dead, black piglets at farrowing. Iíve not seen this before. In fact, three out of five gilts have presented small numbers at farrowing, producing a few live pigs each and several black and shrivelled individuals of different sizes. Is this a result of in-breeding?  

Q I was informed by my local abattoir that four of a recent batch of six pigs that I took there had been classed as Ďunsuitable for human consumptioní and had been Ďbinnedí as a result. Further investigation with the abattoir revealed that the animals had been affected by Ďmilk spotí, which I gather is some kind of worm. Please can you comment on this, and offer some advice about how I can prevent something similar happening in the future? 

Summer 2011
- click here for answers

Q I discovered a dead pig this morning, and wondered whether I need to perhaps give something to the 17 remaining in the group of young growers to prevent any more from dying? All in the group have been unwell for about three weeks, and Iíve noticed some of them walking stiffly and not being inclined to eat. Then, following a course of antibiotic, plus an antiinflammatory, recovery appeared spectacular and everything seemed fine until todayís sudden  

Q I noticed a sow kept outdoors with a large patch on her side, and another sow with a darker, large patch also. What is the cause and is there a treatment thatís needed?  

Q I have a group of 10 pigs which I keep in straw-based yards with an indoor kennel and outside runs. One morning, when I went to feed them, they were squealing and walking very stiffly towards their feed troughs when I arrived. Two out of a group of 10 were struggling to get to a standing position. What could be wrong? I noticed that certain individuals had very red skins, and black areas behind their ears. 

Q Iíve noticed two weaners from a litter of mine that have developed deformed backs, and I wonder whether they will eventually be fit for human consumption? I have enclosed a picture; what do you think?  

Q I have noticed that my young pigs arenít growing very well and looking Ďhairyí. Iíve heard that there is a wasting disease in pigs. Could this be responsible for producing the sort of sub-standard growth rate Iím seeing?  

Spring 2011

Q I discovered a dead pig this morning, and wondered whether I need to perhaps give something to the 17 remaining in the group of young  growers to prevent any more from dying? All in the group have been unwell for about three weeks, and Iíve noticed some of them walking stiffly and not being inclined to eat. Then, following a course of antibiotic, plus an antiinflammatory, recovery appeared spectacular and everything seemed fine until todayís sudden death.

Q I noticed a sow kept outdoors with a large patch on her side, and another sow with a darker, large patch also. What is the cause and is there a treatment thatís needed?

Q I have a group of 10 pigs which I keep in straw-based yards with an indoor kennel and outside runs. One morning, when I went to feed them, they were squealing and walking very stiffly towards their feed troughs when I arrived. Two out of a group of 10 were struggling to get to a standing position. What could be wrong? I noticed that certain individuals had very red skins, and black areas behind there ears.

Q One of my Oxford sows farrowed two days ago and is now very lethargic; she wonít get up to eat or drink. I am worried about her and want to know what I should do?

Q I keep growing pigs to finish at 75kg. They grow very satisfactorily but Iíve noticed that, at an early stage, some of the animals become stiff with swollen joints. These swellings seem to be around the hock joints or shoulders. Whatís the cause of this, and how can I prevent it happening in the future?

ō Vet FAQ's Archive 2010
Vet FAQ's Archive 2009
Vet FAQ's Archive 2008

Disclaimer - The information provided on these pages is offered in good faith. You should always consult your own vet for specific veterinary advice for your own herd. The British Pig Association accepts no responsibility for any outcomes resulting from the use of this information. All content is copyright protected.


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