Medication routes in pigs

There are many routes of medication which can be practically used in pigs.


Medication by Injection




Injection into the ear veins of the pig.  This procedure should be carried out by a veterinarian





Medicine  injpigleg B

Inject into the muscle behind the ear

The mark inside the ring indicates the appropriate position

Iron injection in piglets use to be administer into the hind leg muscles this should be avoided as these are high value muscles.




Extremely difficult to find a true area in the pig with subcutaneous tissue. The skin is closely applied to the fat and muscle layer.  It is possible in the inner thigh as shown, at the point of the shoulder and in the peri-anal region.  The needle needs to be inserted at a low angle as shown




Medcine needleless  detal

Med needleless 2

The injection is made into the dermis of the skin.  The injection is extremely small volume – 0.1ml for example.   There is no needle and therefore no risk of metal contamination of the pig.  In addition, the injection can be administered anywhere in the pig – in the rump for example making mass vaccination easier.




medicine vulval inject

The injection is given at the vulva/body skin junction using a 21g 1” needle.


This is often used immediately pre-farrow to reduce the medicine injection volume for prostaglandins and Oxytocin.  Note doses are normally halved.  Discuss this with your veterinarian.



medicine intraperitoneal injection

An intra-peritoneal injection is difficult and can lead to perforation of the intestine.  Great care is therefore necessary when administration.  This should only be performed by a veterinarian.




Euthanasia intracardiac

Euthanasia sow intracardiac

An injection into the heart through the diaphragm can made to euthanase a young pig to 30 kg.

The needle is pushed underneath the xyphoid process into the ventricle of the heart.

In a sedated pig an injection can be made straight into the heart through the ribcage


Medication via the Oral route


Oral manual

med oral drench 1

Medicine ileitis 6

Medicine giving tablets 1

Oral dosing using a syringe – very useful for administration of oral vaccines or anti-coccidiostat medication.
A stomach tube can be passed into the stomach and be very useful in the administration of warm colostrum in weak piglets

Medication can be administered via tablets which can be disguised in apple, grapes or small sweats.  This can be very useful in boars or pet pigs



medicated feed bag red ca 1

Feed bin Germany

Feed feed space

Medication can be administered to be pig via the feed supply either via specific feed – bagged note red colour of bag indicating medicated feed

Or the feed can be medicated in bulk and delivered into the feed bin.  Note however, issues with feed bin management to minimize antimicrobial residue in otherwise unmediated feed

Feeder management and feed space allocation needs to be appropriate so the pigs can gain access to the medicated feed.  Note some medications may also make the feed unpalatable.  Feeders with holes waste medications



med water medicate outdoor au1

Medication ileitis vaccine gr 1

Water drinker turned leaking

Medication through the water supply either automatically using a pump

Medication manually using small water bowls as shown

As with feed, the water supply has to be freely available to the pigs.  Leaking drinkers (or feeders with holes) will waste medication.


Topical medication

Medication can be applied topically or ear canal useful in mange control. 

Medication onto the eye can be applied to assist treatment of conjunctivitis in individuals.

Medicine marking pigs

Ear external pinna

Connjunctivitis still 2

Topical application of medication – for lice and mange for example

The ear canal

Conjunctivitis which was treated with eye ointment


Medication via Par-vagina or par-prepucial

repro ai  insert  1

medication intraprepuce

It is possible to administer medication straight into the uterus or vagina to treat reproductive infections using a standard AI catheter.   However, in commercial practice the animal’s value rarely is sufficient to justify the effort and the response to treatment is generally very poor

The introduction of medication into the boar’s prepuce has been used to assist the treatment of preputial diverticulitis in AI boars.  However, the animal’s value and response to treatment is poor make this technique little used


Medication via Par-rectal

It is possible to administer mediation par-rectal.  In practice this can be very useful in dehydrated sows on farm where a water pipe can administer 8 litres of water easily into the colon.