Swine Trichinosis: Can I Get Worms From My Pigs?

Swine Trichinosis in pigs is caused by the parasite Trichinella Spiralis

Trichinellosis (Trichinella Spiralis) Zoonotic

Another common parasitic disease in pigs is Trichinellosis caused by the parasite Trichinella Spiralis, found in warm-blooded animals worldwide. These parasites invade the skeletal muscles and muscle fibers around the pigs’ rib cage and their eyes. It can make pigs very ill.

The disease is zoonotic and spreads to man when consuming infected or undercooked pork (the larva is encysted in the meat’s muscle). Trichinellosis can cause severe illness in humans, and it’s important to deworm your pigs regularly and your family if you keep a pet pig.

Causes of Trichinellosis

Female Trichinellosis worms can produce between 500 to 1000 larvae over a period of six weeks. The larvae will pass into their small intestine if your pig eats garbage or scraps containing infected meat. Another cause is when pigs bite the tails of infected pigs when playing or fighting. 

Once the larvae mature, they will mate, and the female worms will move into the lymphatics or leave the body through feces. Once the larva penetrates muscle fiber, it can live up to 11 years!

Symptoms of Trichinellosis

Look out for these symptoms if you suspect your pig has Trichinellosis:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Poor vision
  • Deafness
  • Extreme muscle pain
  • Noticeable decrease in weight
  • Dehydration

Treating Trichinellosis

The most effective way to treat Trichinellosis is to kill the parasites, preventing further infestation in your pig. Antiparasitic medications such as Mebendazole and Albendazole work well for treatment.

Cook any leftover meat or carcasses before disposal. Pigs love to scavenge and eat anything. Rats are also responsible for spreading this disease, so make sure your pig’s living area is rodent-free and hygienic. 


National Library of Medicing Epidemiological studies on trichinellosis in pigs (Sus scofa) in India

Talitha van Niekerk

Hi, I’m Talitha van Niekerk, and I made the leap to farm animal ownership when I decided to fulfil my lifelong passion to own horses. Now, over a decade later, I run a public stable facility on 180 acres of land, caring for over 75 horses of all breeds and sizes. I love to write about my experiences, sharing the knowledge I have gained and helping others achieve their life’s passion to live on the land. See my about page here.

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