© Courtesy of National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff (Des Moines, IA USA)
Successful pig farmers regularly check their animals for any disease symptoms.
For pig farmers in South Africa to be successful, the health of their pigs is essential.
Farmers should be able to recognise the symptoms of diseases in pigs to be able to start treatment with the right medicine as soon as possible. In the case of serious contagious diseases such as one of the swine fevers and foot and mouth disease, a veterinarian must be notified. The warning sign for serious diseases is the sudden death of an unusual number of animals.
Some of the common diseases can be treated and there are vaccines for preventing other diseases, but these should only be used under supervision from a veterinarian or veterinary technician.
Pig diseases can include skin diseases, for example, parasites and especially mange.
Respiratory problems of which the symptoms include coughing and difficulty in breathing.
Diseases of the digestive system, scours or diarrhoea is most common in young pigs and can cause death from dehydration.
Reproductive problems, infertile sows or boars, abortion due to infections are also common.
Most losses in small-herd piggeries occur in the first week of life due to starvation, exposure or suffocation. Piglets must be protected from cold and dirty conditions and their mothers must be fed an extra rich diet to produce milk. Ensure plenty of bedding to limit the sow crushing her babies by lying on them and make sure clean water is always available.
In all pig diseases, it is important to prevent the entry of disease onto the farm by introducing strict biosecurity rules, ensure cleanliness, proper ventilation, shade, fresh water and good quality feed. Good management and a keen eye for symptoms can limit the introduction and spread of pig diseases.
In small pig herds with inexpensive input costs like home-built housing and cheap feed, there is a basic problem; not enough saleable pigs. This means there are not enough pigs and meat to make a profit....more
For the most effective results, medicine, vaccines and any other treatment should be stored, applied and given according to the instructions on the label. Care should also be taken to ensure pigs have been diagnosed correctly before giving any medication...more
Respiratory problems are extremely common in intensively produced pigs. Sneezing might be due to dusty conditions or infectious diseases, with atrophic rhinitis, being the most damaging disease....more
Some are transmissible to man, some are shared with other mammals and birds, some are everywhere in similar forms....more
When talking to other pig farmers, they will tell you that pigs often don’t show any symptoms of disease, with sudden deaths or higher mortalities being the only indication that something is wrong....more
Classical and African swine fever are the two most feared swine diseases worldwide. Both are highly contagious and deadly, causing mortalities of up to a hundred percent. Pigs that manage to survive the disease remain contagious....more