Middle Ear Disease

 

This condition is characterized by the pig walking with a pronounced head tilt.  Radiological examination reveals an abscess and occlusion of the middle ear on the side of the tilt.  There is some evidence that M. hyorhinis may play a role in the pathogenesis. Culture at post-mortem tends to reveal a mixed bacterial population.  The condition is more common in weaners who develop colds and sneezing 10-20 days post-weaning.

Treatment of individuals may be unrewarding.  Injections of ampicillin have been effective.  Control is to avoid chilling and drafting pigs.  However, the problem tends to be sporadic.

 

A CT scan on a middle ear case, demonstrating occlusion of the right middle ear – left is normal as indicated by the black circular hole

In sows the condition may occur due to misplacement of drip cooling systems – which drip into the sow’s ear.