Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: HELP I've had a pig nightmare  (Read 2337 times)

Tommytuxedo

  • Joined Oct 2016
HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« on: March 21, 2019, 11:44:59 am »
Hi All

I am a small holder; I rear pigs and lambs on a small scale and sell the meat from my little farm shop.  The most pigs I have are 16 at a time in lots of 4 with lots of room and open stable doors.

I started feeding some wet brewers grains in February along with their usual bread, pig nuts, cake, veggies and all was fine, they loved it.  I picked the grain up immediately after it had been dug out and it was steaming and wet.  Didn't use it longer than 4 days. 

Last week I lost 9 healthy gorgeous pigs; they went off their food and 24 hours later dead.  Devastated is an understatement.  The vet suspected PPPRS or Actino bacillus pleuropneumonia, but all tests from 2 post mortems have come back with no answers - no flu, no virus, no toxins, nothing. 

My vet thinks it may have been contaminated brewers grains.  I have quizzed the brewer who has told me their cleaning process; I provide the tubs that he puts it in so I know they are clean.

I am searching the web for any answers and am at a dead end.  Has anyone any thoughts on this or seen this happen before?

Desperate for answers and devastated that I may have poisoned my own pigs with the grain. 

Any advice, info, shoulder to cry on, would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.
T

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 01:20:25 pm »
Sorry to hear about what has happened.  It must be heartbreaking. 

Unfortunately no-one on here is realistically going to be able to help with a diagnosis if the vets doing the autopsy cant determine the cause of death. 

The finger does seem to point at the grains in some way though. 

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2019, 05:13:53 pm »
Sorry to hear about what has happened.  It must be heartbreaking. 

Unfortunately no-one on here is realistically going to be able to help with a diagnosis if the vets doing the autopsy cant determine the cause of death. 

The finger does seem to point at the grains in some way though.


 I assumed that Tommy is not asking anyone here to do a post mortem, but merely asking if anyone on the forum has had a similar experience. Seemed a fair enough avenue to explore, seeing as the vets don't have the answer.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2019, 06:29:02 pm »
Without trying to get too graphic. How did they appear when they had died? Were they bloody nosed/mouthed?

Have you checked the living area for any contamination.... bedding, water trough, feed trough etc etc. I would Virkon S everything personally.

Does seem very strange that no viruses or toxins have been noted through the tests. Do you have to notify DEFRA because of the amount of deaths?
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

Tommytuxedo

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 07:48:48 pm »
Without trying to get too graphic. How did they appear when they had died? Were they bloody nosed/mouthed?

Have you checked the living area for any contamination.... bedding, water trough, feed trough etc etc. I would Virkon S everything personally.

Does seem very strange that no viruses or toxins have been noted through the tests. Do you have to notify DEFRA because of the amount of deaths?

Hi when they died they were a picture of healthy pigs no weight loss, clean, no discharges, no vomit, no diarrhoea and no contaminants, they are cleaned out twice daily.   Only finding on post mortem was hardened areas of lung edges, but no positive result for anything at all.  I was wondering if anyone else had had this experience.
The vet hasn’t mentioned telling DEFRA.  Any input is much appreciated because my brain is boggled.
Thanks for replying.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 08:05:28 pm »
I only mentiond DEFRA because i'm sure the policy we have on our farm is that 5 or more pigs die within 24/48 hours then we have to notify. I could be wrong. I'm on holiday at the moment but could confirm this next week. Hopefully others on here will know.

I still find it strange that the vet found nothing. I've seen pigs have a heart attack through stress or sudden shocks but for it to happen to 9 would be very very rare. The odds would be so great that i can't beiieve i typed it lol.

Thinking totally outside the box. You say you clean them out twice daily. Is that just removing the muck or is it using cleaning solutions? Something hasn't reacted with the cleaning solution to create a gas?
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

Tommytuxedo

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 08:18:14 pm »
I only mentiond DEFRA because i'm sure the policy we have on our farm is that 5 or more pigs die within 24/48 hours then we have to notify. I could be wrong. I'm on holiday at the moment but could confirm this next week. Hopefully others on here will know.

I still find it strange that the vet found nothing. I've seen pigs have a heart attack through stress or sudden shocks but for it to happen to 9 would be very very rare. The odds would be so great that i can't beiieve i typed it lol.

Thinking totally outside the box. You say you clean them out twice daily. Is that just removing the muck or is it using cleaning solutions? Something hasn't reacted with the cleaning solution to create a gas?

Sorry I wasn’t clear; 9 have died over an 11 day period some in the day some over night. 
I scrape the muck out throw shavings over toilet area and sweep it out, no products used.
Honestly it’s baffling. 
Only result awaiting is histology. 

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 08:41:39 pm »
Thanks for clearing that up. Still to lose that many in that time scale is really strange. I work on a farm with just under 1500 sows and we rarely have more than 1 death every 3 to 4 weeks. Sometimes longer.

Really does sound like you have a virus on the holding. Do you have any of the suspect feed left to be able to test it?  Disinfect everything really well just to be sure.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

Tommytuxedo

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 08:47:52 pm »
Apparently, viral has been ruled out. 
Everything has been FAM’ed. 
None of the brewers grain batch left.  Chickens ate it and are all fine.
My only other fear is that someone has got in and poisoned them!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 09:02:12 pm by Tommytuxedo »

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 08:34:34 am »

My only other fear is that someone has got in and poisoned them!

Or a poisoned animal (rodent/bird) has got in and the pigs have ate it.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

Tommytuxedo

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2019, 12:06:47 pm »
Yes but the 9 are from 3 different pens  :thinking: 

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2019, 02:52:56 pm »
Sorry to hear about what has happened.  It must be heartbreaking. 

Unfortunately no-one on here is realistically going to be able to help with a diagnosis if the vets doing the autopsy cant determine the cause of death. 

The finger does seem to point at the grains in some way though.


 I assumed that Tommy is not asking anyone here to do a post mortem, but merely asking if anyone on the forum has had a similar experience. Seemed a fair enough avenue to explore, seeing as the vets don't have the answer.
So a vet, who has seen the animals, carried out a post-mortem exam and has full access to laboratory testing facilities does not know the answer, so lets see if anyone on a small online smallholding forum has direct experience of 9 pigs dying in 24hours. 

I stand corrected....

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 05:21:32 pm »
Is it too soon for deadly nightshade? You said that stable doors are open so does that mean they can wander in and out? Pigs will stick their snouts into anything. Killed a porker of mine a month BEFORE it was supposed to go for the chop! Very annoying!
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 09:17:00 am »
When the Vet has completed all the tests and still had a blank is precisely when to ask for a lateral view since that avenue of enquiry is already moving into the unusual.  Makes more sense than asking a forum a question any Vet can more reliably answer.  Forums yield diverse experience. For example, one time I was asked to investigate a similar happening in lab rats. They were kept in very strict hygiene conditions but out of the blue a number died over a short space of time and post mortem and investigation into food, air con etc yielded no answer.  It turned out the sawdust used for bedding was autoclaved to sterilise it and they had a few weeks earlier decided to sterilise it twice as they were not sure the middle of the bale was getting hot enough.  We concluded this was high enough T for trace pesticides in the trees for sawdust to convert to phosgene and the rats having their noses in bedding were getting small lethal doses. Unlikely? Maybe but all likely answers were negative and when the stopped the double autoclave it never happened again. For the pigs my intuitive answer is it is feed related. Toxicity results only show what is looked for. I doubt they looked for mycotoxins as very specialised and I think would be non homogeneous in the brewers grain. Also would salt levels have been checked?

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: HELP I've had a pig nightmare
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 11:19:21 am »

You don't say how old? Maybe different ages?


I would also lean towards feed. Don't just focus on the brewers grain. Look at all food sources. Also look at water source or potential pollution from flooding.

 

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