Shaking pig can be catastrophic to the herd

Shaking Pig Can Be Catastrophic To The Herd-What To Do

Body Trembling and Shaking

Congenital tremors is also known as shaker pigs or dancing pigs. It is an awful pestivirus (a genus of viruses that attacks mammals) that affects newborn piglets. Shaker pigs tremble and shake violently and get very ill. As a result, your piglets can starve to death, as extreme trembling prevents them from nursing.

Symptoms of Congenital tremors include the head and boy trembling, splayed0 leg in the hind legs, poor coordination, sitting like a dog, and increased shaking with sudden noise. 

Here are a few signs to watch out for if your piglets have congenital tremors:

  • Piglets’ heads and bodies tremble when they walk (nodding their heads continuously)
  • Experience splay leg of the hind legs
  • Bad coordination 
  • Piglets sit like a dog
  • Sudden noise or stimulation can cause the shaking to worsen

Excessive Shivering May Cause a Pig Not to Eat

A pig shivering and not eating may be due to dramatically low temperatures. Why? As a result of their high sensitivity to extreme temperature changes, pigs can feel the effects of both hot and cold weather. That means that swine are vulnerable to cold temperatures and will soon start to shiver in an attempt to generate body heat. 

Pigs will naturally expend energy to maintain their body temperature as they begin to shiver rather than use the energy to eat. Furthermore, the pig’s metabolism will slow down, decreasing energy and appetite. So don’t count on a chilly pig to be able to tuck into its typical hearty meal on a cold day. It simply won’t have the energy or desire to eat. 

Note that cold temperatures lasting for days to weeks can cause a negative energy balance that feeds alone cannot fix. Consistent low temperatures can lead to stunted growth or weight loss.

How to Treat a Sick Piglet with Tremors:

Unfortunately, you cannot do much for piglets born with congenital tremors, as this disease affects the central nervous system (CNS), which will take time and medication to heal. However, follow these steps to manage the tremors and provide comfort to the piglet:

First, manage the condition to reduce mortality. You can bottle-feed the piglet to make sure they don’t starve. Lastly, ensure the sow doesn’t crush the piglet (known as overlaying) if they are lying down next to her, as they will be cold and look for body warmth (known as chilling).

  1. Managing the condition will reduce mortality. 
  2. You can bottle-feed the piglet to make sure they don’t starve.
  3. Ensure the sow doesn’t crush the piglet (known as overlaying) if they are lying down next to her, as they will be cold and look for body warmth (known as chilling).


Penn State Extension:

Cold Temperature Management for Pigs

My Most Used Pig Supplies

This list contains affiliate products. Affiliate products do not cost more but helps to support BestFarmAnimals and our goal to provide farm animal owners with accurate and helpful information.

Purina Pig Chow will last well (or Mazuri is popular, but I haven’t tried it), and the stainless steel non-skid bowls that will help keep the mess down.

A pig blanket to keep her warm. This one also has bright colors and helps to provide rooting without the destruction.

Pig Harness for walking and handling your pig. There are a lot to choose from, but this one is pretty easy to use. If you want one that has a separate leash, this looks like a good one.

A large crate for keeping her safe in your house at night and when you leave the house. This is essential. You’ll also want a litterbox, and I like mine with a lid for nighttime. Pine shavings are best, and you may be able to find them in larger quantities locally.

When you have accidents, Odoban will help eliminate odors. When you are potty training, these floor pads work great for keeping your house clean while training her to go in certain places.

You’ll also want an outdoor house to keep her warm when she gets outside time, an essential part of her development.

Dewormer- Ivermectin is the primary dewormer I use, although I do rotate with a non-ivermect ingredient once so that the worms don’t get immune to it.

Scroll to Top