Swine Influenza Treatments for the Pet Pig
Influenza of pigs is not abnormal (apart from countries like Australia where Swine Influenza is not present).
In our pets with minimal contact with other pigs and good biosecurity the condition may not be seen.
With the Human Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak 2009, this novel virus, which is based partially on the traditional Swine Influenza H1N1 virus is capable of moving from people to people and has been demonstrated to also affect pigs.
My pigs are healthy:
Practice sensible biosecurity to protect the pigs from meeting any influenza virus.
Do not allow people with signs of influenza have contact with the pigs
Where it is available (North America) have the pig vaccinated against common Influenza virus strains. This might not protect the pig from this strain, but we do not need to pig to have two strains at once and the vaccines do have the "normal" H1N1 virus in the vaccine.
My pigs look like they are getting sick:
The pig appear to get influenza but will recover normally, if commonsense is practiced.
Normal healthy pig
If the pig presents with signs of influenza - quiet, coughing, runny nose and eyes. High temperature. Pregnant sows may abort.
Inform your local vet. Do not take the pig to the vet.
Keep the pig warm
Keep the pig hydrated and encourage the pig to eat. Possibly add water to the pig's food.
Use of pain killers such as Asprin or Ibuprofen (10mg/kg) may help control the fever and make the pig feel better
Keep calm and quiet and comfort the pig. Obviously there may be a risk of getting the influenza from the pig - but its just a likely that the pig got it from a family member.
Antibiotics may be used by your vet as supportive treatment to reduce the risk
of secondary infection. Antibiotics will have no effect on the influenza
The condition is normally self limiting - taking the classic: 3 days to get it, 3 days to have it and 3 days to get over it.
Very young, old or sick pig
Pigs which are compromised are at more of a risk to Swine Influenza (of all types). This novel type appears to be no more virulent that the other circulating types of influenza. Special care and nursing will be required. Consult your veterinarian for more advice. If the pig becomes dehydrated, it may be necessary to place the pig on a drip. Careful, warm considerate nursing is the best treatment.
Practice sensible biosecurity to reduce the risk of introducing any influenza virus into your pigs.