Diseases of Pigs

Scott P. Terrell, DVM, Diplomate ACVP
Veterinary Pathologist, Disney·s Animal Programs Instructor in Wildlife Pathology, UF CVM

North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)

360 multiple choice questions 

6 blocks of 60 questions 

Approx. 60 images (xrays, diagrams, photos, microscope images, etc) 

Total 7.5 hours 55-65% to pass (90% pass)

North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) Blueprint by species 

Small animal
Canine Feline Pet bird Other (fish, lab, exotics) 26% 22% 3% 3% 15% 7% 2%
16% 6% 

Food animal
Bovine Pigs Sheep / goat 

Horses Public health, poultry

           .Rhodococcus equi D .Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae C .Bacillus sp. (acid fast) N .Dermatophilus congolensis A .Clostridium sp.Actinomyces (Arcanobacterium) pyogenes M . E .Gram positive or gram negative? SS BECLR DAMN (a ship) S . S .Listeria monocytogenes R . L .Streptoccoccus sp.Nocardiasp. B .Staphylococcus sp.Mycobacterium sp.

..On to the pigs...

Ages of pigs are important Neonates  0-3 weeks 3-10 weeks 10-26 weeks >6-8 months <4 kg 4-25 kg 25-120 kg >120 kg Weanlings/nursery  Growers/finisher  Breeders/adults  .

Pig management Backyard herds All in / all out SPF Segregrated early weaning Depop / repop .

Pig medicine Blood collection  Jugular vein / anterior vena cava Auricular vein Rubberband IV injection   .

Multisystemic Diseases Respiratory Diseases Gastrointestinal Diseases Neurologic Diseases Musculoskeletal Diseases Reproductive Diseases Dermatology Miscellaneous .Orderly thinking...

Multisystemic diseases Erysipelas (Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae) Glasser s disease (Haemophilus parasuis) Salmonella PRRS (arterivirus) PWMWS (circovirus) Pseudorabies virus (herpes virus) Vitamin E / selenium deficiency .

endocarditis. arthritis. necrosis Environmental contaminant  Septicemia  .Erysipelas Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae  Gram positive rod most herds have carriers diamond skin.

Diamond skin disease .

Valvular endocarditis .

Treatment   Penicillin Tetracyclins Sanitation Vaccinate at weaning and then q6 months Prevention and control   ...Erysipelas cont.

initiated by stress Polyserositis. septicemia (fibrinous)     Pleuritis Pericarditis Peritonitis Meningitis!!! .Glasser·s disease (polyserositis) Haemophilus parasuis  Gram negative coccobacillus Endemic.

Glasser·s disease .

.Glasser·s cont.. Diagnosis   Culture is difficult (but try it) Go with suspicion from gross lesions Penicillins Tetracyclins Reduce stress Vaccine at weaning then again 3-4 weeks later Treatment   Prevention and control   .

anorexia purple discoloration of the ears (infarction) Small or large intestinal diarrhea (button ulcers) Pneumonia Rectal strictures  . Salmonella cholerasuis Salmonella typhimurium  Zoonotic Low-level endemnicity. carriers Septicemia     pyrexia.Salmonella sp.

Salmonella .

all out operation Various vaccines (live avirulent) Treatment   Prevention and control    .Salmonella cont... Diagnosis  Aerobic culture Neomycin in the feed/water for whole group Naxcel (ceftiofur) for individual Sanitation All in .

fever cyanosis of the ears.PRRS Porcine reproduction and respiratory syndrome Arterivirus Clinical signs . respiratory distress secondary bacterial pneumonia delayed or abnormal estrus cycle with increased numbers of stillborns/mummies .neonates     anorexia. lethargy.

treat secondary bacteria closed herds change feed if contaminated by mycotoxins (*) RespPRRS vaccine Treatment  Control    . virus isolation IFA... IHC most common test used in the USA Supportive care. Diagnosis   serology.PRRS cont.

.Post weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PWMWS) Porcine circovirus -2 Relatively new disease Responsible for many of the clinical signs associated with atypical PRRS virus .

PWMWS Clinical signs    Wasting in weanling pigs Enlarged peripheral lymph nodes Evidence of pneumonia NecropsyGranulomatous lymphadenitis and pneumonia Intracytoplasmic inclusions Diagnosis   Serology. IFA .


None Supportive care Euthanasia of affected animals Difficult at this time Carrier animals are important


Aujesky s disease Herpes virus Dogs, cats, domestic ruminants Not humans!

Pseudorabies cont...
Baby piglets 

up to 100% mortality neurologic dz, vomiting, diarrhea Ulcers on oral cavity and esophagus up to 60% mortality in weanlings, 0-15% in finishers pneumonia impt, neurologic dz, vomiting, extreme pyrexia can cause stillbirth/abortion


Adults - often inapparent 

ulcers in gi tract   Serum neutralization is standard test ELISA can be used as a screening test Treatment .. Reportable disease! Diagnosis  Necropsy histologic lesions in brain..none Prevention   closed herd! quarantine! restrict wildlife vaccination .Pseudorabies cont.

Pseudorabies .

10% of herd tested q1month ...Pseudorabies Regulation   use of vaccine regulated by states federal regulations for monitoring    all animals over 6mo old must be tested 25% of herd tested q3months or.

White muscle disease / Mulberry heart disease Nursery or grower pigs Vitamin E / Selenium deficiency    Propionic acid destroys Vit E / Sel Rancid fat can destroy Midwest U. is selenium deficient acute death (mulberry heart disease) muscle weakness (white muscle disease) Clinical signs   .S.

.hepatosis dietetica Liver selenium < 0.Vit E / Selenium cont..5 ug/g .hydropericardium. Diagnosis    Necropsy . fibrinous epicarditis. myocardial hemorrhage Diffise hepatic necrosis .

Mulberry heart disease .

Cardiovascular disease Encephalomyocarditis virus Hog cholera African swine fever Erysipelas Vitamin E / selenium deficiency .

sudden death older pigs . etc. encephalitis . Non-suppurative myocarditis. pulmonary edema.EMC virus Cardiovirus Clinical signs neonates . soft and pale Hydropericardium. hydrothorax. meningitis.subclinical chronic myocarditis Pathology Epicardial hemorrhage often only lesion May see white streaks or spots in myocardium Heart may be enlarged.

Pig EMC virus myocarditis .

FAD Erysipelas .valvular endocarditis Vitamin E / selenium deficiency   Mulberry heart disease Necrosis / degeneration of myocardium .Other cardiovascular conditions Hog cholera .FAD African swine fever .

Respiratory diseases Atrophic rhinitis Swine influenza Mycoplasma pneumoniae Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae Pasteurella Verminous pneumonia .

Atrophic rhinitis Bordatella bronchiseptica Pasteurella multocida High ammonia Clinical signs     sneezing. sniffling twisted snouts excessive lacrimation epistaxis .

clean air vaccinate sows Treatment   Control and prevention   .cut snout at 2nd premolar Nasal culture for either organism tetracyclines in the feed LA200 to neonates all in all out. Diagnosis   Necropsy ..Atrophic rhinitis cont.. reduce stress.

Atrophic rhinitis .

Swine influenza Influenza virus Zoonotic Outbreaks associated with movement or extreme weather changes   up to 100% morbidity low mortality unless secondary bacterial infection complicates things .

Swine influenza cont...cranioventral pneumonia Fluorescent antibody test Treatment . Diagnosis   Necropsy .supportive Prevention    closed herd control secondary infections keep away from humans (no shows!) .

non-productive cough Low mortality Secondary bacterial complication .Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Enzootic pneumonia Most common cause of chronic pneumonia Chronic.

Mycoplasma cont.plum colored or pale cranio-ventral pneumonia Culture to rule out secondary bacteria Fluorescent antibody test on lung ... Diagnosis    Necropsy .

Lincomycin in feed Prevention . Treatment .improve management ..Mycoplasma cont..

acute.Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia Intensive swine operations Inapparent carriers Peracute. and chronic forms Clinical signs   severe respiratory distress death .

.. Diagnosis     necropsy .Actinobacillus cont.fibrinous pleuropneumonia often diaphragmatic lobes most severe culture is difficult complement fixation serology ceftiofur (Naxcel) and procaine penicillin vaccination of young pigs Treatment  Control  .

Contagious pleuropneumonia .

Pasteurella multocida Most common bacterial isolate from pig lungs opportunistic pathogen  mycoplasma. influenza. stress moist productive cough dyspnea some die clinical signs    . actinobacillus.

suppurative cranio-ventral bronchopneumonia may be pleuritis similar to actinobacillus culture Treatment .. tetracyclines Control   look for underlying disease medicate feed and water (tetracyclines) .Pasteurella cont..penicillin. Diagnosis    necropsy .

Pasteurella pneumonia .

ivermectin .direct life cycle Metastrongylus elongatus Problem with pasture pigs Clinical signs   earthworm intermediate poor doer respiratory distress Secondary bacterial infection Milk spots liver. worms in the GI Levamisole.Verminous pneumonia Ascaris suum .

Gastrointestinal diseases Stomach  Ulcers E. coli (piglets) TGE (piglets) Clostridium (piglets) Coccidiosis (>7 days) Rota virus (post weaning) Salmonella (any) Small intestine       .

.. Large intestine   Swine dysentery (grower/finishers) Proliferative enteropathy (grower/finishers) Hemorrhagic bowel syndrome Proliferative illeitis   Whipworms (growers) Salmonella (any) .Gastrointestinal disease cont.

.    Finely ground feed Stress Vit E/Selenium def Melena.Gastric ulcer disease Almost always the pars esophagea Non-specific lesions Can lead to bleed-out Predisposing factors.. anorexia . ulceration of squamous portion of stomach.

´Bleed outµ .

Colibacillosis E. coli Most impt cause of diarrhea in piglets <5 days old!!! Clinical signs    clear watery to pasty brown feces dehydration and depression death losses higher in younger pigs .

Colibacillosis cont. gentamicin. vaccination of sow Treatment  Control  .. fluids sanitation. tetracyclin. Diagnosis    ph of feces (>8) culture of organism (large number) necropsy .dilated gas filled small intestine Ampicillin..

Colibacillosis .

diarrhea recovers <7days Morbidity and mortality high in pigs <2weeks old .diarrhea with undigested milk Growers. finishers .TGE - transmissable gastroenteritis Coronavirus (similar to FIP) Epidemic form (all ages) Endemic form (1-8 weeks old) WINTER disease Clinical signs   Neonates .

transparent small intestine Treatment .supportive Control    isolate new additions for 2 weeks.TGE cont. keep dogs and bird away (carriers) Immunization of sows or piglets Grind up piglet guts and feed to pregnant sows . immunoflourescence of gut contents Necropsy undigested milk in small intestine thin walled. Diagnosis   ELISA...


Clostridial enteritis Clostridium perfringens type C sudden death in 1-2 day old piglets Clinical signs  BLOODY DIARRHEA Necropsy . necrosis of small intestine Clinical signs Histopathology .large gram positive rods Diagnosis    .blood in jejunum with flecks of mucosa.

Clostridial enteritis .

.. Treatment   usually die too quickly type C antitoxin Sanitation Type C antitoxin within minutes of birth Vaccination of sow Prophylactic bacitracin or penicillin to piglets Control     ..Clostridial enteritis cont.

Coccidiosis Isospora suis piglets 5 days old to weaning Clinical signs     diarrhea (7-10 days of age) no blood acidic feces (in contrast to E. coli) Dehydration .

Diagnosis     Diarrheas in pigs <7days old are not Isospora! Necropsy .disinfection of farrowing area .fibrinonecrotic enteritis Histopathology .oocysts.Coccidiosis cont.. merozoites Fecal flotation can be falsely negative Adding coccidiostats to feed is ILLEGAL amprolium to piglets Treatment   Control ..

Coccidiosis .

difficult     Necropsy-thin walled small intestine Histopathology Flourescent antibody test Electron microscopy .Rota virus Reovirus Almost all pigs are infected Diarrhea in post-weaned pigs Diagnosis .

. Treatment   Glucose and fluids Antimicrobials for concurrent infections E.Rota virus cont.. coli Isospora Control   Wean pigs on good nutritional diet MLV vaccine at 7 and 21 days (in water) .

Dont forget Salmonella Salmonella typhimurium Salmonella cholerasuis Fibrinonecrotic enteritis or colitis at necropsy Rectal strictures Culture of organism .

Swine dysentery Serpulina hyodysenteriae Grower / finishers Mortality can be up to 30% Clinical signs    diarrhea sometimes with blood eventually watery. mucoid most recover in 2 weeks but 30% may die . bloody.

Swine dysentery cont.mucohemorrhagic colitis histopathology Spiral shaped organism on dark field microscopy Culture is definitive Lincomycin in water medicated water. depopulation. close herd vaccine only reduces clinical signs Treatment  Control   . Diagnosis     Necropsy ...

Swine dysentery .

Swine dysentery .

Proliferative enteropathy
Lawsonia intracellulare 

proliferative illeitis, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome

Large intestine Weanlings and older Clinical signs 

intermittant diarrhea can be hemorrhagic diarrhea anemia (think gastric ulcer first)

Proliferative enteropathy cont...

Necropsy - garden hose ilium and colon
can be hemorrhagic or fibrinonecrotic 

Histopathology - intracellular, silver positive DNA probes No specific treatment Reduce stress Medicate feed - tetracyclines, carbadox

Treatment and control 

Proliferative illeitis

dichlorvos and fenbendazole .fecal float.Whipworms Trichuris suis 2-6 months of age Large intestine Clinical signs   diarrhea with mucus and blood anemia (2 DDX?) Diagnosis . fibrinnecrotic colitis Control .

Whipworms .

Don·t forget Salmonella! Salmonella typhimurium Salmonella cholersuis  associated with rectal strictures? Can be large intestine Fibrinonecrotic colitis Rectal strictures Culture .

milk spots Stephanurus edentatus .small intestine.kidney Macrocanthorynchus hirudinaceous -small intestine .colon Ascaris suum .Parasites of pigs Trichuris suis .

Neurological diseases Hypoglycemia Streptococcus suis Salt poisoning Edema disease .

Hypoglycemia Newborn piglets Blood glucose <50 may develop signs Clinical signs     convulsions shivering hypothermia gait abnormalities .

. Diagnosis   Blood glucose Empty stomach 20ml/kg 5% glucosa.Hypoglycemia cont.. warm em up make sure the milk is flowing Treatment  Control  .

depression tremors. ataxia. blindness. anorexia.Streptococcus suis Streptococcal meningitis 3-12 weeks of age Clinical signs   fever.suppurative meningitis Culture of CSF or meningeal swab Diagnosis   . convulsions Necropsy .

.Strep suis cont. tetracyclines must be quick! minimize stress prophylactic antibiotics Control   Can be zoonotic .meningitis. headaches . Treatment   penicillin..

Streptococcal meningitis

Salt poisoning
Usually due to water deprivation rather than too much Na Causes hyperosmalarity of CNS resulting in swelling and edema Clinical signs 

thirst, constipation depression, blindness, convulsions

Salt poisoning cont...

History Clinical pathology-eosinopenia, hypernatremia Histopathology - eosinophilic meningitis None provide free access to water reduce salt in diet



coli .vascular injury .edema 1-3 weeks post weaning Clinical signs   sudden death ataxia. palpebral edema Diagnosis    palpebral edema.Edema disease E.toxin differs from GI form  Shiga like toxin . convulsions.pure culture from SI or colon Detection of toxin . widespread edema in multiple sites Culture .

Edema disease .

.. Treatment  ineffectual if clinical signs have developed Antibiotics in feed/water High fiber diets? Control   .Edema disease cont.

A.Musculoskeletal diseases Arthritis   S. Erysipelothrix. pyogenes Mycoplasma hyosynoviae Malignant hyperthermia (PSE) White muscle disease Myodegenerative disease   Rickets Fibrocartilagenous infarcts Osteochondrosis . suis.

treatment often no good .Suppurative arthritis Streptococcus suis Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae Actinomyces pyogenes May see loss of cartilage Due to fighting. abscesses Penicillin . surgical contamination Distended joints.

Suppurative arthritis .

Mycoplasmal arthritis Mycoplasma hyosynoviae 4-12 weeks of age acute or chronic lameness non-suppurative arthritis/synovitis edema of synovial tissue Lincomysin to treat .

Mycoplasmal arthritis .

increased body temperature. handling Halothane anesthesia muscle tremors. Pale soft edudative pork Autosomal recessive gene Stress predisposes   Fighting. red areas of skin.Malignant hyperthermia Porcine stress syndrome. dyspnea. movement. muscle rigidity Clinical signs  .

DNA probe avoid stress Control   .Malignant hyperthermia Treatment    Remove stress Cool Dantrolene genetic selection .

Malignant hyperthermia .

White muscle disease / Mulberry heart disease Nursery or grower pigs Vitamin E / Selenium deficiency    Propionic acid destroys Vit E / Sel Rancid fat can destroy Midwest U.S. is selenium deficient acute death (mulberry heart disease) muscle weakness (white muscle disease) Clinical signs   .

Diagnosis    Necropsy .hepatosis dietetica Liver selenium < 0. myocardial hemorrhage hepatic necrosis . fibrinous epicarditis.Vit E / Selenium cont.hydropericardium..5 ug/g Vit E or selenium injection feed supplements Treatment and control   ..

Mulberry heart disease .

Rickets Ca/P imbalance or Vit D deficiency Decreased mineralization of bone 3-5 months of age Pathologic fractures Distorted bones Adjust diet .

Osteochondrosis Grower pigs Rapid growth Usually involves humero-radial joint  Stifle less common .

Fibrocartilagenous infarcts Heavily muscled lean pigs Usually present down in hindlimbs Evidence of discospondylitis Rupture of nucleus pulposus Embolism of nucleus pulposus with subsequent infarction of spinal cord .

Reproductive disease Parvovirus Leptospirosis PRRS Cystitis / pyelonephritis Brucellosis .

infertility Diagnosis . survive normally no other signs of illness SMEDI . embryonic death.embryo resorbed 30-70days .stillbirth.Porcine parvovirus 100% prevalence Signs depend on time of infection     <30days . mummy.dead or weak.mummy >70days .detection of virus in mummy by immunofluorescence or by rising titer .

Parvo .SMEDI .

Control     Natural infection of gilts before breeding Commingle gilts with sows Grind up mummies and feed to gilts Vaccination! may still get some losses ...Porcine parvovirus cont.

last trimester abortion.most common serovar bratislava Pyrexia. stillbirths Culture difficult Dark field microscopy of fetal fluids. urine Serology (<1:800) Clinical signs  Diagnosis    .Leptospirosis Leptospira interrogans   serovar pomona .

.Leptospirosis cont. Treatment  Chlortetracycline in feed Vaccination Gilts twice before first breeding Sows before every breeding Control    ..

PRRS Porcine reproductive/respiratory syndrome Premature farrowing Small weak piglets or stillborns increased numbers of mummies Delayed or abnormal estrus Serology to diagnose Vaccination for prevention .

Cystitis / Pyelonephritis Eubacterium suis Clinical signs   pyrexia. blood or pus in urine high urine pH necropsy .hemorrhagic cystitis Culture difficult .anaerobic Diagnosis   Treatment .penicillin .

Brucellosis Brucella suis Clinical signs    abortion at any time in gestation infertility .many sows coming back into heat infected sows recover and deliver normally mild endometritis arthritis orchitis Lesions    .

Brucellosis .

Brucellosis cont.card test Culture Treatment and control   Test and slaughter Zoonotic . Diagnosis   Serology ...

Parvo virus PRRS Pseudorabies Lepto

Dermatologic diseases
Mange Greasy pig disease Swine pox Erysipelas Pityriasis rosea (JPPD) PRRS associated vasculitis/glomerulonephritis

Sarcoptes scabei var suis Young nursery or grower pigs Clinical signs 

intense pruritis, thickened skin poor production susceptible to other diseases

Diagnosis - clinical signs, skin scrape Treatment and control 

acaricide (amitraz) topically, ivermectin injection

Mangy piglet .

Mangy piglet .

Sarcoptes scabei .

Histopath .

clinical signs and culture . excess sebaceous secretion pruritis not a feature unless complicated my mange Diagnosis .Greasy pig disease Exudative dermatitis Staphylococcus hyicus Affects late preweaning pigs Clinical signs   exfoliation of skin.

Greasy pigs .

Greasy pig disease cont.. Treatment   Injectible penicllin. oxytetracyline Tetracyclines in feed Sanitation Control external parasites Good nutrition Control    ..

Swine pox Swine pox virus Only pigs less than 4months old Clinical signs    papules 1-6 mm in diameter pustules.clinical signs. crusts clear spontaenously intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies Diagnosis . biopsy  Treatment .not necessary .

Swine pox .

liver Diagnosis   . lung. joints.3years old Clinical signs   widespread ecchymotic hemorrhages due to microthrombi arthritis.Erysipelas Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae Diamond skin disease pigs 3months . endocarditis Diamond skin lesions pathognomonic Culture of blood.

Diamond skin disease .

Treatment  Penicillin is the drug of choice General sanitation Bacterins or attenuated live vaccines Control   ..Erysipelas cont..

Pityriasis rosea Juvenille pustular psoriaform dermatitis Pseudo-ringworm Spontaneous regression .

PRRS associated Vasculitis/glomerulonephritis Newly described condition associated with PRRS virus infection Type III hypersensitivity reaction    Causing vasculitis Dermal and cutaneous infarction Large red sloughing skin lesions usually over rear and legs Commonly associated renal disease .

PRRS vasculitis/glomerulonephritis .

Miscellaneous diseases Swine lice Baby piglet anemia Eperythrozoonosis .

anemia.same as for mange . poor growing visible to naked eye Diagnosis  Treatment .Swine lice Haematopinus suis Indicator of poor management Clinical signs  pruritis (mild).

lethargy Diagnosis . CBC Treatment . edema.clinical signs.Baby pig anemia Iron deficiency Piglets iron demand is greater than the sows milk Clinical signs   anemia within 2-3 days of birth dyspnea.200mg iron dextran at 1-3 days of age . pale skin.

anemia intravascular hemolysis necropsy .large spleen Giemsa stained blood smear Serology .Eperythrozoonosis Eperythrozoan suis Obligate intracellular parasite of RBC s Clinical signs    pyrexia. icterus.1:80 considered positive Diagnosis   .

.Eperythrozoonosis cont. etc. needles.. Control   .. Treatment  Oxytetracycline injected or in feed Control lice and fomite transmission Surgical instruments..

Pigweed Amaranthus retroflexus Common in southeast Severe perirenal edema .

Fumonensin Fusarium moniliforme    Hypertension Arteriolar medial proliferation Hemorrhagic pleural and pulmonary edema* .

hemorrhage in multiple areas African swine fever  .splenic infarction is pathognomonic iridovirus .Foreign diseases Hog cholera  pestivirus .

calicivirus Vesicular stomatitis .Vesicular diseases of swine     Foot and mouth disease .apthavirus* Swine vesicular disease .enterovirus Vesicular exanthema .rhabdovirus .

Case #1 Signalment: 10 weanling pigs History: dead and dying Necropsy findings:    yellow fibrin covering lungs yellow fibrin covering abdominal organs meninges are reddened DDX? .

plum-red color Euthanize and necropsy:  DDX? . chronic cough Clinical signs:   non-productive cough harsh lung sounds cranioventral pneumonia.Case #2 Signalment: several growers History: poor doers.

Case #3 Signalment: 2 grower pig females History: diarrhea.necropsy findings:  DDX . weak Clinical signs:   pale mucous membranes perineum stained with feces Large intestine markedly thickened and contains small amount of blood One dies .

eyelids swollen mesentery and omentum expanded by fluid Diagnosis? How do you confirm? .Case #4 Signalment: 1 piglet just weaned History: sudden death Clinical signs: dead! Necropsy findings:   subQ expanded by fluid.

Case #5 Signalment: breeding sows History:   decreased fertility litters have contained dried up small fetuses none in the sows Clinical signs:  DDX? How do you confirm your top differential? .

Case #6 Signalment: many weanlings History: lameness Clinical signs   swollen painful hocks fever. one has pulmonary edema on xrays Aspiration of joint reveals pus DDX? .

bad skin Clinical signs:   dermatitis. self trauma DDX? Diagnostic tests? .Case #7 Signalment: young nursery pigs History: very itchy. pustules intense pruritis.

THE END!!! .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful