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close this bookAnimal Disease Control and Treatment (IIRR, 1996, 60 p.)
View the documentForeword
View the documentDisease causes and symptoms
View the documentDiseases of ruminants
View the documentDiseases of pigs
View the documentDiseases of chickens
View the documentDiseases transmissible to people

Diseases of pigs

Hog cholera

Hog cholera is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It affects pigs of all ages. The disease appears suddenly and spreads rapidly through direct or indirect contact with sick animals. Hog cholera virus persists in meat preserved by salting, smoking or freezing. The disease is often spread through uncooked meat. It may persist for up to two years. Death occurs in five to seven days.


Early phase

FIG. 1. Hog cholera

· Inactivity.
· Loss or lack of appetite.

Acute phase

FIG. 2. Hog cholera

· Loss or lack of appetite.
· High fever.
· Constipation then diarrhea.

FIG. 1. Vomiting.

FIG. 2. Difficulty breathing-Convulsions.

Pigs pile up or huddle together-Skin of ears, neck and abdomen turns purple.

Chronic phase

· Diarrhea.
· High fever.
· Weakness.
· Trembling piglets.


If the disease is still in its early stage, inject hog cholera serum. If the animal has been ill for more than three days, the serum is useless.


· Dead animals should be burned and buried with lime.
· Cook kitchen scraps before feeding.
· Practice regular vaccination
· Disinfect pens of infected animals.
· Purchase animals from reputable sources.
· Isolate newly purchased animals for observation for about a month.

Foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is an acute, highly contagious, viral of animals with hooves, such as cattle, water buffalo, goats and pigs.

Symptoms, treatment and prevention methods for FMD in pigs are the same as those of FMD affecting cattle and water buffaloes. (See section on FMD in Diseases of ruminants.

Transmissible gastroenteritis

Transmissible gastroenteritis is a cammon viral disease of the small intestine that causes vomiting and profuse diarrhea in pigs of all ages. It spreads rapidly. Piglets less than one-week old rarely survive the disease.


Early stage

Acute stage


-Nursing piglets' stools contain curds of undigested milk. Mortality rate is nearly 100 percent.

-Profuse watery diarrhea.

-Growers/finishers have yellowish diarrhea.


-Pregnant sows abort.

-Excessive thirst

- Loctating saws vomit and have diarrhea. Their milk production is reduced.


No recomanded treatment.


· Delay reusing the pens of infected animals.
· Disinfect pens. (See Basic husbandry practices and veterinary care.)

Swine dysentery

FIG. 1. Swine dysentery

Swine dysentery is known by a number of names, including bloody diarrhea, hemorrhagic enteritis bloody scours and black scours. It affects pigs of all ages, sometimes causing death.


Early stage

· Partial loss or lack of appetite.
· Sometimes fever.
· Soft feces.

Acute stage

· Mucoid diarrhea with flecks of blood.
· Watery, hemorrhagic diarrhea.
· Dehydration.
· Weakness.
· Emaciation.


· Some herbal medicines can be used to relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and dehydration. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine.

inject Tylosin into the hip or neck. Repeat injection for 3 4days.


· Delay reusing the pens of infected animals.
· Disinfect pens.

Baby-pig diarrhea

Infection occurs in the first few days of a pig's life. Improperly fed sows and poor farrowing conditions contribute to the spread of infection. Mortality rate may reach I 00 percent.


Escherichia cold bacteria. These are normally present in the pig's digestive tract. Lowered resistance of piglets permits the bacteria to multiply and spread abnormally.


Watery, yellowish white diarrhea.

Dehydration: Nose is very dry and skin is slack. To test for this, gently

Pinch the skin of the animal and pull it.


Then let go. If the piglet is no,

Rapid weight loss.

Dehydrated, the skin will snap back into place.


Herbal medicine—Fresh leaves of guava or star apple. This will treat the symptoms only. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine.

— For sows. Inject antibiotic (penicillinstreptomycin) into the muscle of hip or neck. Repeat injection for 2-3 days, if necessary.

— For piglets. Give 1/2 teaspoon of Kaopectate oral suspension twice a day for 34 days.


· Keep pens, feed and watering troughs clean.
· Separate affected animals from healthy animals.
· Do not change abruptly an animal's ration.

Lice Infestation

FIG. 1. Lice Infestation

Hog lice are the largest of all lice which attack domestic animals. They are usually found in less hairy areas of the body such as the neck and ears. Hog lice feed by puncturing the skin and sucking blood.

Lice infestation is mainly due to poor hygiene.


· Itching.
· Scratching.
· Loss of hair due to rubbing and scratching.
· Lice can be seen on the skin.
· Lice eggs can be seen attached to the hair.


Herbal medicine—Leaves of sugar apple or gliricidia. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine—Neguvon or Asuntol powder. (For treatment, see mite infestation on page 37.)


· Separate infected animals from healthy animals.
· Keep pens, animals and surroundings dean

Mite infestation

FIG. 1. Mite infestation

Mites burrow deep under the skin. They can be spread by contact with infected animals, infected caretakers or from contamineted objects or pens. Mite infestation is also called scabies or mange.


· Scratching.
· Wrinkled and rough skin.
· Inflammation of the skin.
· Falling hair.
· Moist, open wound (which can ooze pus or serum).

Mites usually thrive on the hairless portions of a pig's body, like the back of the pig's ears.

Fungal infection may also have the same symptoms but the wounds (lesions) are different. Lesions caused by fungus ale rounded and the surrounding areas arc reddish.

Warning: Scabies is transmissible to humans and other animals.


Herbal medicine. Use any of the following:

—dried seeds of sugar apple.
—fresh leaves of woodworm.
—fresh leaves of ringworm bush.
—fresh leaves of gliricidia.
—fresh leaves of chrysanthemum.

(See Herbal medicine for animals. For more information on preparations and dosages, see also Ethnoveterinary medicine in Asia: An information kit on traditional animal health care practices.)

Apply used crude oil on the affected area 2-3 times a day until the skin is fully treated. Caution: Never expose an animal which has been treated with used crude oil to direct sunlight.

Western medicines such as Neguvon or Asuntol. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Neguvon or Asuntol powder in I gallon of water. Bathe the infected pig with the solution. Repeat the procedure twice a week until the animal has fully recovered. Spray some amount into the pen to kill the eggs and young mites. Do this once a week for about a month.


· Separate infected animals from healthy ones.
· Keep pen and surroundings clean.

Intestinal parasites

The most common internal parasite of pigs is ascaris, a large white roundworm found in the small intestine. Other worms inhabit the stomach, large intestine and lungs. Worms affect pigs of all ages.

Warning: Eating vegetables treated with ascaris-infested pig manure will transfer the worms to humans.

FIG. 1. Intestinal parasites


· Lack or loss of appetite.
· Diarrhea.
· Anemia.
· Weight loss.
· Slow growth.
· Coughing.
· Dull, thick hair
· Live warms expelled in the feces.

FIG. 1. Life cycle of roundworms in pigs

Eggs hatch in the intestinal tract into larvae, which burrow into capillaries and circulate to the lungs. They grow there, then migrate up the windpipe, are swallowed and only then mature to adult worms in the intestinal tract.


Herbal medicine—betel nuts or leaves of sugar apple. (See Herbal medicine for animals.)

Western medicine.

—For breeders (boars, sow, gilts). Deworm with Latigo 500. Give 2 tablets per animal.
—For young pigs. Deworm with Latigo 50. Give 1-2 tablets per animal.


· Keep animals and surroundings clean.

· Deworm, then repeat deworming after 21 days to break the life cycle of the roundworm. Then, deworm every three months.

Udder Infection

Bacteria infection causes an inflammation of the mammary organ and results in changes in milk production. These bacteria enter the wounds in the udder


Swelling of the udder.

Absence or reduction of milk in the affected udder.


Reddening of the udder.

Sow refuses to suckle her piglets. As a result, piglets squeal due to hunger.


Herbal medicine. Make a poultice from any of the remedies below and apply to the infected udder once a day until the redness disappears or the wounds heal. Use either a strip of banana stalk or strips of clean cloth to hold the poultice.

—Pound and extract the juice from 5-10 fresh leaves of betel pepper. Mix it with 5-10 chopped, fresh guava leaves and 5-10 chopped, fresh tobacco leaves.

—Pound 5-10 fresh leaves of guava.

Western medicine. Inject penicillin-streptomycin into the muscle of hip or neck. Repeat the injection for 34 days.

Gently massage the affected udder with lukewarm water. Do not allow the young to suck milk from the infected sow.

Remove the milk from the infected udder and discard. Separate sow from piglets and reduce access to teats (allow a few piglets to suckle at a time). If possible, foster piglets to lactating mothers.


· Provide adequate bedding.
· Keep pig pens clean, dry and free of sharp objects.
· Clip milk teeth of baby pigs.

Uterine infection

An infected uterus accumulates pus. This usually occurs after birthing, breeding or examining the uterus with a dirty hand.


· Weak appetite.
· Fever.
· Milky to yellowish discharge from the birth canal.


Herbal medicine. Irrigate or wash the birth canal with the strained solution made from boiled fresh guava leaves. Use a matured papaya stalk to funnel the solution inside. Pour in the solution until the pus comes out. Wash also the external reproductive organ with the strained solution of boiled guava leaves. Repeat the external wash twice a day for three days.

Western medicine.

— Inject antibiotic like penicillin-streptomycin into the muscle of hip or neck. Repeat the injection for 34 days.

— Inject hormone (oxytocin) to speed up the expulsion of pus and dead tissues from the uterus. Repeat the injection after 20 minutes if no effect is seen, i.e., the pus and dead tissues coming out of the vagina.


Proper hygiene and sanitation, especially during birthing and examination of uterus.

Lack of milk

The condition is usually seen during or after a disease, like infection of the udder or uterus.


· Increased milk production.
· Milk can be drawn only with difficulty.
· Piglets squeal due to hunger.


· Inject the saw with oxytocin to speed up the release of milk. Repeat after 20 minutes if no effect on the milk flow is seen.


· A week before the sow is to give birth, provide it with a continuous supply of extract from boiled, fresh horseradish tree leaves.

· Avoid stressing your animal.

· Always provide ample fresh water.

Lack of heat

Sometimes a female does not show signs of heat.


Low body weight due to poor feeding.

The animal is lactating heavily.


Lack of contact with a male.

Mineral deficiency.

Intestinal worms.

Heavy infestation with parasites.

Chronic disease.

The animal has just given birth.


· Improve feeding, of mineral-rich feeds. (See section on nutrition in Basic husbandry practices and veterinary care.)

· Regularly deworm your animals. (See section on deworming in Basic husbandry practices and veterinary care.)

· Allow the female to stay with a male animal.

If the gilt or sow does not come into heat despite improved management, inject 1-2 ampules of Gonadin. The animal will come into heat within 2-3 days.

Birthing difficulties

Common causes and symptoms of birthing difficulties in sows are similar to those in ruminants. (See Diseases of ruminants.)


If the sow labors for more than half an hour without any signs of progress, check the neck of the birth canal. If a piglet is stuck do the following:

1. Cut your fingernails short.

2. Wash your hands and arms with soap and water.

3. Wash the sow's hindquarters with soap and water

4. Lubricate your hands and arms with soap or oil.

5. Cup one hand to form a cone shape.

6. Gently separate the lips of vulva with the other hand.

7. Push your cone-shaped hand gently into the birth canal.

8. If the piglet is coming out forelegs first, grasp the legs, head, or jaw.

9. Pull the offspring as the same time as the sow contracts.

10. Gently shake and massage the piglet while keeping its head down to drain fluids from its mouth and nose.

11. Tie the cord, I inch from the abdomen, if necessary.

12. Disinfect the cord with diluted iodine. Other piglets will normally come out without assistance. The afterbirth will come out within four hours. If another piglet gets stuck in the opening, repeat steps 510.

13. Inject the sow with antibiotic, such as penicillin and streptomycin. Repeat the injection once each day for 2-3 days. Also, inject one dose of 24 cc of oxytocin. This will stop bleeding and will remove dead tissues inside.

14. Wash the external reproductive tract with a strained solution of boiled guava leaves.

Indigenous practices

FIG. 1. Full moon. Farmers prefer breeding animals during full moon to produce healthy offspring.

Native breed. They prefer raising native breeds because they are sturdy and are highly resistant to diseases.

Pure boar's urine is sprayed into pens of gilts and sows which fail to go into heat. This is done twice a day, preferably early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Animals are expected to show signs of heat after five to seven days.

Papaya stalk or stick. Farmers in Cavite, Philippines, induce estrus in animals by gently spoking the female's external organ with a papaya stalk or a stick.

Rectal prolapse

A rectal prolapse appears as a protrusion of the end of the rectum through the anus. Young animals are most commonly affected, but mature animals with severe diarrhea can prolapse. The following factors can contribute to rectal prolapse:

· Internal parasites.
· Diarrhea.
· Weakness of the rectal wall.

Intestinal irritation causes prolonged straining or pressure on the rectum, forcing it through the anus.


Reddish protrusion through the anus.
The animal becomes restless.


Herbal medicine. Wash the prolapsed anus with a strained solution of boiled guava leaves. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day for three days.

Western medicine. After washing it with the above solution, spray a fly repellent like Gusanex or Negasunt twice a day until the pig recovers.

Husbandry measures:

Lessen the feed intake of the affected animal.

—Provide fresh, leafy vegetables like leaves of sweet potato.
—Provide fresh water.
—Separate affected animal from the other animals.


Regularly deworm animals.
Feed a proper ration.