Swine Brucellosis in pigs is a bacterial disease that results in abortions in pigs

Sick Pigs: Identifying and Treating Swine Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that results in abortions in pigs. The Brucella suis bacteria cause it and affects pigs of all ages. If your pigs display symptoms, you’ll need to alert the local authorities, as some strains of the disease are highly contagious and can be passed on to humans (zoonotic disease).

If your sow (female pig) is infected, the bacteria will take around 3 to 6 weeks to infiltrate the placenta and cause severe inflammation.

Sadly this disease usually results in abortion.

Causes of Brucellosis

Swine Brucellosis is highly contagious and is spread by nose-to-mouth contact or through a venereal infection (sexually transmitted). The boar (male pig) is the primary carrier of the bacteria and the bacteria is secreted along with the semen.

The bacteria can also be spread if pigs consume dead and aborted piglets or afterbirth. Piglets can contract this disease by suckling an infected mother’s milk. The organism can be shed through the milk.

Brucellosis can be passed to humans through open wounds or from handling infected materials.

Symptoms of Brucellosis

Infected sows will show signs of infertility and bacteremia (bacteria found in the blood). Infection in male pigs can cause permanent damage to their reproductive tract and cause swollen testicles.

Symptoms in piglets include lethargy and paralysis of their hind legs. Weaners (pigs around 6 months old) suffer from swollen testicles or vulval discharge tinged with blood.

Treating Brucellosis

Sadly antibiotic treatment is ineffective against the Brucellosis bacteria. To prevent further spread, the infected pigs will need to be culled. The entire area must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to avoid further spread of the disease.

Ensure your pigs regularly receive the RB51 live vaccine to help increase resistance to the disease.

My Most Used Pig Supplies

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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.

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