NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted  (Read 506 times)


  • Joined Jun 2018
sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« on: June 12, 2018, 05:46:06 pm »

We are brand new to raising hogs and are having a real time with a sick pig. Any advice/insight into what could be wrong would be much appreciated!

We bought three female Hereford 7 week old weaners a couple weeks ago. Two are doing totally great but one (which we thought was just runty) has been having numerous problems that have gotten increasingly worse.

Her symptoms:

-scours (Come and go, and can be really severe on bad days.)
-stunted growth BUT
    -has started to put on weight the past few days, but it makes her look strange & bloated since her frame is not growing at all
-wrinkly skin (This has become way more noticeable in the last 3-4 days.)
-low energy and weakness
-sunken eyes
-quivering/shaking (just started a few days ago)

What we have tried:
-deworming with a chemical wormer (have never seen any worms in stool before or since)
-electrolytes in water just to keep her from becoming dehydrated when the scouring is bad
-Duramycin (antibiotic)--administered only yesterday, still could turn things around
-feeding yogurt for probiotics
-feeding diatomateous earth w/ food (as a natural wormer, just in case it is worms)
-making trace mineral salt available which has high levels of iron in case of anaemia (Everything I've read makes it seem like she's too old for an iron shot, which I know she was never given as a piglet.)

She is still eating and drinking like a healthy pig most of the time.

Thank you so much for your help!!

Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 10:52:34 am »
Hi  :wave:
I would suggest the vet asap. It could be a number of things and we would only be stabbing in the dark as to what. And I would separate her from the other two.



  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 11:48:53 am »
last year we had four weaners, one of which became ill shortly after arriving with us. It was runty, wheezing, shaking, and kept stumbling off its legs. It was diagnosed with pneumonia and treated accordingly. At the time my farmer friend said the damage to its growth (i.e. stunted) was done and it would never catch up to the others. I still wanted to try so it had a course of antibiotics and after a lot of care it got better.

However, my farmer friend was right, it never caught up, stayed tiny and when it came time to slaughter the others this small one was hardly worth the bother! It went in our freezer so it's not a huge deal but in hindsight I would have pts rather than throw so much money at. I'm not saying this happens in every case but that has been my experience.


  • Joined Jun 2018
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 02:24:44 pm »
Thanks for the response! We probably will be taking a loss with her if she pulls through this (and she has been doing better since I administered the antibiotic). I'm too big of a softy to put her down but it does honestly make financial sense. It's something to consider & mentally prepare for in the future if we so happen to end up with an off-the-bat super sick weaner again.


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 06:20:47 pm »
I was exactly the same! Didn't have the heart to pts and really wanted to give her a chance, it can be hard to let the head rule sometimes. I hope your pig picks up soon


  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 06:33:29 pm »
Wrinkly skin and sunken eyes sound like dehydration to me, but that's a symptom rather than a cause again.
Hope your vet has some insight.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: sick pig, wrinkly skin and stunted
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 09:04:28 am »
If she has had scours then yes, she is likely to be dehydrated. You said she has had numerous problems and these have got worse. You have antibiotic which I assume a vet gave you so what did they say.

You imply that you bought a runt. Never recommended. Here we have a three week standstill for pigs brought onto a holding, it goes back well before the new animal standstills following the major foot and mouth outbreak a few years ago. The reasoning being that pigs are generally kept intensively and that three weeks is a reasonable expectation for newly moved on pigs to show incubation and signs of disease.

I suspect being a runt and given the timescale she was already harbouring something which has been worsened by the move, as clearly your premises were pig free when they moved on. Pigs are extremely hardy and you would have been very unlucky for her to have caught something from you.


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