Swine Diseases and their Prevention Measures

Once swine diseases affects a pig herd the impact on the economics of pig production in terms of the cost of control and decreased productivity can be enormous. The first priority must therefore always be to try to prevent the occurrence of disease.

Thus many of the pig management procedures are aimed at disease prevention or at mitigating the effects of those diseases that cannot be prevented.

With skilled management, combined with well-designed housing and sound nutrition, an overall strategy to minimize the possibility of disease attack can be formulated.

1. Parasites

Parasites are defined as organisms that live on and obtain food from the body of another, known as the host.

They may live on the exterior of the pig when they are known as external parasites, or within the internal tissues and organs when they are known as internal parasites.

Parasites will seldom result in the death of the host except in the case of massive infestations or if the host is also stressed in other ways.

Read Also: General Introduction to Pig Management

1a) External parasites

These mainly cause irritation to the skin surface, often leading to wounds and increased susceptibility to other infections. The most common external parasites are mange-mites, ticks, lice, fleas, and flies.

Table: Showing some ectoparasites of pigs

NameMeans            of Transmissioncausative OrganismSignscontrol
Mange- mites                 Ticks   Lice and fleasDirect contact                   Tick bites require more  than one host  to complete the life cycle Direct contactSarcoptes scabiei                 Tick spp Lice and  fleas speciesCrusty, dry-looking skin around the eyes, ears & snout, skin is swollen &  inflamed pig constantly rubbing itself    & performance depressed.     Transmit Babesiosis and other tick-borne diseases. (fever, emaciation depressed performance, etc.   Irritation, anemiaRegular treatment either dipping or spraying with anti-manage medication. Spraying of pens. Chronic cases to be culled.   By spraying and dipping  with suitable acaricides     Spraying pigs and pig quarters with suitable insecticides

Read Also: Swine Processing and Marketing

1b) Endo-parasites of pigs

Table: Shows some endoparasites of pigs

Name and features   1) Roundworms Live in the small intestines and can grow up to 300 mm long and 6 mm thick. Capable of laying thousands  of eggs  per dayMeans            of transmission   Ingestion of contaminated  feed and  water by infected eggs  from the dung of infected pigCausative  agent   Ascaris lumbricidesSigns   Larvae migrate through the liver & lung. Irritation in the lungs causes coughing & ill-thrift in young pigs. Liver damage can lead to condemnation at slaughter. Heavy infection can   lead to obstruction of Small intestines, weakness, weight lossControl   By breaking the life cycle i.e. regularly moving range pigs onto fresh grounds. Frequent removal of feces in housed pigs. Breeding pigs should be routinely dosed with broad-spectrum anthelmintics and young stock dosed after weaning.
Name and featuresMeans of transmissionCausative  agentSignsControl
2)Ingestion ofTaenaLarvaeBy
TapewormsContaminatedsoliumencyst inpreventing
Pig      is         thefeed    and the pig’spigs access
intermediatewater by muscleto human
host and theinfected eggs particularlyfeces.
adult wormfrom the dung of the heartRegular
live in maninfected and tongue.deworming
 humans Pork meatis helpful.
   are 
   condemned 
   at slaughter 

2. Infectious Diseases

Table:  Infectious diseases of pig

NameMode  of   transmissionGeneral characterPreventive measures
1) Africa swine fever (ASF) is a viral infection There was an epidemic in Nigeria from 1999– 2000Direct and indirect contact, inhalation, and ingestion tick as vectors. Feeding infected unboiled swill, carrier animals, contaminated vehicles, etc. are very important in the transmissionLoss of appetite, pigs hurdling together, small purplish blotches on the skin, in coordination, and labored breathing.Prevent direct contact between domestic and wild pigs. No vaccine, no treatment. Strict prevention of movement of pigs, personnel, and vehicles between pig farms. Do not feed pigs with uncooked garbage from hotels this may contain the virus. In case of an outbreak of ASF, bury or burn the carcasses, and disinfect the house with strong disinfectants. Rest in the house for three months.
NameMode of transmissionGeneral characterPreventive measures
2) Foot-and-mouth disease Most contagious of all known viral diseases.The virus is carried by buffalo. Infection can occur by feeding infected bones or cooked meat.Causes blisters on the feet, snout,   udder, and mouth. Is painful to the pig, which cannot eat and often has to be destroyed.There is no cure. If an outbreak occurs on nearby farms, pigs can be vaccinated. vaccinate with the right virus
3)   Erysipelas Is caused by a bacterium that  lies in the soilBy animal contact or is picked up from the soil.Stages are acute, sub-acute, and chronic. Acute form sudden death is common, marked constipation, reddish/purplish discoloration of the ears, abdomen, and legs.    The chronic form can lead to chronic arthritis, swollen joints and stiffness, and heart damage.Treatment is effective with the right antibiotics and should be timely. Excellent vaccines are available. A routine vaccination program is recommended to prevent infection.
NameMode of transmissionGeneral characterPreventive     measures
4) Anthrax Is an acute, and often fatal bacterial disease which often causes mortality in humans.By contact with anthrax carcasses or by spores in contaminated food or pasture.Two main types of signs exist. Swelling in the back region which causes difficulty in breathing or  sudden death with blood oozing from the body orificesThere is an effective vaccine against the disease If the disease is suspected carcasses should not be open as this releases infective spores. The infected carcass should be buried at sufficient depth to prevent transmission of the spores.

Read Also: Nutrient Requirement of Pigs and Swine Feeding Methods

Non-specific Swine Diseases

These include abscesses, gastric ulcers, intestinal hemorrhage syndrome

In conclusion, the impact of a disease in a pig herd, in terms of the cost of control and decreased productivity can be enormous, the first priority must therefore always be to try to prevent the occurrence of disease.

Thus many of the management procedures are aimed at disease prevention or at mitigating the effects of those diseases that cannot be prevented.

Parasites are defined as organisms that live on and obtain food from the body of another, known as the host.

They may live on the exterior of the pig when they are known as external parasites (ectoparasites) or within the internal tissues and organs when they are known as internal parasites (endo-parasites).

Parasites will seldom result in the death of the host except in the case of massive infestations or if the host is also stressed in other ways.

Examples of ectoparasites include mange mites, ticks, lice, fleas, and flies.

While examples of endo-parasites include roundworms and tapeworms.

Examples of infectious diseases of viral origin include African swine fever and Foot-and-mouth disease. Examples of infectious diseases of bacterial origin include

Swine erysipelas and Anthrax disease. Examples of non-infectious diseases include Abscesses and Gastric ulcers.

Read Also: Proper Management of Pig Breeding Stocks, Piglets, Weaners, Growing, and Finishing Pigs

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Writer (With over 12 years of professional experience in the agricultural industry) - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education... Visit My Websites On: Agric4profits.com - It's All About Agriculture, The Way Forward! Agric4profit.com - The Most Reliable Global Agricultural Forum! Agric4profit.com.ng - The Most Reliable Nigeria's Agricultural Job Board! TheAgriPedia.com - For Everything Premium Agriculture! WealthinWastes.com - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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