Understanding Respiratory Mycoplasma Pneumonia in Pigs

Mycoplasma Pneumonia in Pigs

Another common disease in pigs is Mycoplasma Pneumonia. This chronic respiratory disease causes persistent dry cough and growth retardation in pigs. The disease is caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and forms lesions in your pig’s lungs.

Due to the severity of the disease, your pigs will be susceptible to secondary infections such as Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia. Enzootic pneumonia mainly affects growers and finishers and is spread through nose-to-nose contact with infected pigs. 

Aspiration pneumonia also affects the lungs and is caused by inhaling food or water through the airways instead of swallowing it. 

Causes of Mycoplasma Pneumonia

This respiratory disease is spread via nose-to-nose contact and from inhaling the bacteria (the microorganism is airborne). One of the leading transmissions of this disease is from the sow to piglets through suckling.

The bacteria can travel over 5 miles as an aerosol. Your pig can be infected with mycoplasma pneumonia for up to 8 weeks before symptoms show.

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Pneumonia 

Here are some telltale symptoms to watch out for if your pig has Mycoplasma pneumonia:

  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Sneezing
  • Dry cough
  • Retarded growth
  • Fever

Treating Mycoplasma Pneumonia

The best way to ease the symptoms of an infected pig is by injecting them with long-acting Oxytetracycline, Penicillin, or Streptomycin. Sadly there is no successful treatment to eliminate the disease. 

Prevention is always better than cure, so ensure you keep up to date with vaccinations and avoid overcrowding your pig’s living area. As a preventative measure, you can add Tetracyclines to your pig’s feed for extra immunity. Keep your pig’s living environment clean and hygienic.

Mature pigs usually fully recover from Mycoplasma pneumonia. However, it’s important to note that the virus can remain in your pig’s respiratory tract for around 7 months, so quarantine appropriately.

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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