Identification and Care of the Compromised Pig

A guide for Western Australian Pig Farmers and Stockpeople

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pig hi mum uk

Stockmanship

Stockmanship caring

 

 

 


Animal welfare legislation in Western Australia

 

The Animal Welfare Act 2002 and accompanying Regulations affect people who own or work with animals including farmers, stockpeople, livestock transporters, livestock exporters, saleyard personnel and processors.

 

Under the legislation it is an offence to transport, confine, restrain or catch any animal in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, it unnecessary harm.

 

The legislation references Codes of Practice (Codes) that define what are regarded as acceptable welfare practices for pig husbandry and transport. 

 

Note that transportation includes movement around and between farms, as well as transportation from the farm to the slaughterhouse.

 

Compliance with the Codes can be used as a defence

against a charge of animal cruelty in Western Australia.

 

Relevant legislation and Codes can be found at www.dlgrd.wa.gov.au/Legislation/AnimalWelfare/Default.asp

 


About this guide

 

 

This Guide has been developed in consultation with pork industry stakeholders and Government agencies to help you decide on suitable care for the compromised pig.  The guide illustrates a range of severe conditions of the pig and their respective recommended treatment.  There are also suggestions for a suitable course of action regarding the treatment of the compromised pig.  The guide should be used in consultation with the farm veterinarian.  The farm veterinarian will advise on suitable medications to be administered within the treatment period.

 

The basic principle is that a pig should be hospitalised as soon as it is identified as compromised relative to its peers

 

This guide should be used in conjunction with the “Fit to Load Guide” before transporting any pig

 


Suspect pigs

 

 

A pig is classified as a suspect to indicate to a slaughterhouse that it may not be fit for human consumption.

·     A suspect pig must be fit to load and should be clearly identified (for example, by ear tagging).

·     Inform a slaughterhouse in writing why you think a pig is a suspect and ask for feedback.

·     Ideally load any suspect pigs at the rear of the truck so they are unloaded first and easiest.

Identification ear tag

Suspect pig individually ear tagged

 


Hospital Accommodation Design

 

 

·      Pigs in this pen should be assessed at least twice a day.  Appropriate treatment (if any) should be administered as advised by your veterinarian and the hospital pen records completed.

·      Deep dry bedded floor (straw) covering a non-slip concrete floor with good drainage.

·      Good ventilation with no draughts.   Air speed under 0.2m/s.   A kennelled area should be available.

·      Provide a feeder, which is hand filled twice daily.   Feed intake for a healthy growing pig is about 4% bodyweight per day.  For an adult it is about 1% bodyweight. To enable in-feed medication, there should never be too much food in the feeder.

·      Provide a bowl drinker.  Set at 30 cm above the ground for 20 kg pigs or more.  This drinker should be fed from a separate header tank to enable in-water medication if necessary

·      Easy entry and exit points should not have steps.

·      All hospital pen pigs should be tagged and treated as individuals on entry.

·      Pigs in the sick pen may need a companion of a similar size.

·       Each hospital pen should be of adequate size- about 7 m2; to hold up to 10 wean to finish pigs or up to 3 sows.

 

Hospital pen


The following pages describe major conditions of the pig.  If the advice is to treat the pig, consult your veterinarian.

The general public should be reassured that the following images illustrate specific conditions (intended for training purposes only) and do not represent the normal pig found on Western Australian farms.

 

Care of the compromised runt piglet

 

 

 

If piglet is less than 800g at birth it only has a 10% chance of surviving to 100 kg

Runt2

Runt piglet with a healthy pig

It will have a reduced growth potential

It will have a decreased lean potential – associated with its growth curve

It will have a decreased muscle quality – the muscles being firmer and meat quality reduced

They will be the last pigs out of the finishing house

They will have the poorest food conversion ration

They will be the most expensive pigs to produce

Most importantly to the rest of the herd:

They will consume less colostrum than their siblings

They will have increased risk of contracting pathogens

They will act as multiplication resources for pathogens

They are likely to cause the death and suffering of other pigs

The euthanasia of a runt pig in the farrowing area can improve the welfare and wellbeing of the rest of the herd

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Lameness

Spinal abscess kr

Legs broken elbow

Leg joint ill k1

 

Lame pig us a1

Condition

Off back legs

Fractured leg

Infected soft abscess in joints

Cannot walk with all four feet on the ground

 

Immediate action

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Small abscess  – treat or

if large,  

DESTROY immediately

 

Identify pig as an individual.

Treat in a hospital pen or DESTROY immediately

Action after 7 days

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Lameness continued

 

Leg joint ill weaner 2

Leg ulcer bad kr

Leg toe injury KR

leg deformity k1

Condition

Single infected joint non-discharging abscess less than golf ball size and able to walk unassisted

Hock sore

Less than 6cm not lame

One infected foot not lame.  No discharge and no swelling up the leg

Abnormality affecting walking

Immediate action

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat as necessary

Identify pig as an individual. 

Place in bedded hospital pen

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat as necessary

DESTROY immediately

Action after 7 days

When slaughtered send as suspect

 

 

 

Action after 14 days

 

DESTROY if no improvement

When slaughtered send separate as suspect

 

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

Tail bitten

Tail biten severe 2

Tail biten severe

Tail bitten and swollen leg 2

Tail bite small

Condition

Abscessed

Base of spine exposed

Tail bitten and lame

Fresh, infected with no abscess

 

Immediate action

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Place in hospital pen

Action after 7 days

 

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 

Action after 14 days

 

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Skin injuries

abscess back k1

Skin fire 4

Skin fighting nursery 3

Vice flank biting 2

Condition

Abscesses

Open wound – cuts of any type

 

Grazes less than 6 cm

Flank bite

Immediate action

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat if possible or DESTROY immediately

 

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat if necessary

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Action after 7 days

DESTROY if no improvement

 

Send to slaughter as a suspect

When slaughtered send as suspect

When slaughtered send as suspect

 

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Ear conditions

aural haematoma k1

Ear crumpled

middle ear au2

Middle ear infection kr

Condition

Aural haematoma

Crumpled ear

Middle ear – cannot walk unaided

 

Middle ear – can walk unaided

Immediate action

 

Treat for pain relief

No treatment necessary

DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Action after 7 days

 

 

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 


 Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

 

 

Ruptures and hernias

Umbilical hernia kr

Umbilical hernia kr 2

Hernia large col crop 1

Hernia Umbilical too large 1

Condition

Belly, scrotal or groin rupture more than 9 cm off the ground and less than 30 cm in diameter

 

Belly, scrotal or groin rupture with damage or injury

Hernia larger than 30 cm or with damage or injury

Hernia in contact with the ground

Immediate action

 

None

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

Action after 7 days

 

Slaughter as soon as possible

 

 

 

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Other conditions

Rectal prolapse stricture

Rectumprolaps 04sw

Rectal stricture au 2

 

Respiratory problem sp

Condition

Rectal prolapse  - Fresh, no smell, no bigger than 15 cm

 

Rectal prolapse

Larger than 15 cm

Rectal stricture

Pneumonia or scouring pig

Walking but off food

Immediate action

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat or Send to slaughterhouse separate pen

DESTROY immediately

DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in the pen

24 hours no improvement move to hospital pen

 

Action after 7 days

 

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 

 


Care of the compromised piglet, weaner, grower and finisher pig

 

 

Other conditions

Meningitis streptococcus suis

Meningitis3

Pneumonia chronic

Humphback piglet 01sw

Condition

Meningitis

Small or Bullied pig

Thin pig less than condition score 2.5

Abnormalities – example is “kinky back”

 

Immediate action

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen or DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Identify pig as an individual. 

Discuss with your vet

Action after 7 days

DESTROY if no improvement

DESTROY if no improvement

DESTROY if no improvement

If the animal is unfit for human consumption DESTROY immediately

 

 


Care of the compromised adult pig

 

 

Lameness

Legs dog sitting position kr

Legs epiphysiolysis gilt

Lame sow

Abscess sow 1

Condition

Off back legs

Acutely lame

Lame with no obvious cause

Abscess

Immediate action

DESTROY immediately

Severe – DESTROY immediately

Otherwise treat in hospital pen

If severe DESTROY immediately

Otherwise treat in hospital pen

Severe – DESTROY

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat if abscess can be drained.

When slaughtered send as suspect

Action after 7 days

 

DESTROY if no improvement

DESTROY if no improvement

DESTROY if no improvement

 


Care of the compromised adult pig

 

 

Reproductive and Prolapses

Uterine prolapse B1

Hernia perineal 4

rectal prolapse

Farrowing just out 2

Condition

Uterine

Vaginal  or perineal- fresh

Rectal prolapse

Dystocia – farrowing difficulties

Immediate action

Treat or DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Immediate slaughter, treat or DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Immediate slaughter, treat or DESTROY immediately

Treat immediately – if piglets cannot be removed DESTROY immediately. 

Do not send to the slaughterhouse

 


Care of the compromised adult pig

 

 

Injuries

Skin fire

Skin injury crate 2

Legs shoulder sores

Leg granuloma

Condition

Traumatic injuries - severe

Traumatic injuries - mild

Shoulder sores

Ulcerated granuloma

Immediate action

DESTROY immediately

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Send to slaughter as suspect if wound still open

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Send to slaughter as suspect if wound still open

Identify pig as an individual. 

Treat in hospital pen

Send to slaughter as suspect if wound still open

 


Care of the compromised adult pig

 

 

Others

Mammary Actinomycosis 01 sw

Gilt rearing poor gilt pneumonia

Pig very thin 2

Condition

Mammary chronic abscess

Small gilt/bullied sow or gilt

Emaciated – condition score 1

Immediate action

Identify pig as an individual. 

If small send to slaughter as a suspect.

If large or ulcerated DESTROY immediately

Separate, and if necessary, place in hospital pen

Condition score less than 1 (above) DESTROY immediately

Condition score above 1 place in hospital pen.  Review gestation feeding regimes

Action after 7 days

 

 

DESTROY or review in 7 days

Action after 14 days

 

 

DESTROY if no improvement

 

 

 


Decision tree towards care and management of compromised pigs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Humane destruction (Following the Model Code 2008 AU)

 

 

 

Various euthanasia methods in pigs

 

 

Piglets 

<3 weeks old

Nursery pig

< 10 weeks

Growing pig

Finishing pig

Mature

Sow or boar

Birth – 6 kg

6-30 kg

30-75 kg

75 kg +

 

Carbon dioxide

Yes

Yes

Not practical

Not practical

Not practical

Gunshot

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Captive bolt

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Blunt trauma

Yes

No

No

No

No

For veterinarians only

Anaesthetic overdose

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes