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Signs & Symptoms of

Flu & Pneumonia

in Pet Pigs

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Pigs do not do well in very cold climates unless they are
specifically bred to withstand the extreme temperature dips. In
the winter a lot of people take their pigs inside the house to
keep them warm, but then that creates a different problem. You
then will need to let them outside to eliminate, and the quick
change from warm to cold to warm isn't good for a pig's immune
system and can make the pig vulnerable to illness.

During the winter, because of the inability to graze and get
proper exercise, a pig's immune system naturally weakens, which
makes them susceptible to sicknesses like the flu, pneumonia or
colds. Pigs often do not show symptoms of illness unless they are
very, very sick so it is up to you to see if there are any even
minor changes so that you can take your pig to the veterinarian
before it is really ill and it is possibly too late.

The symptoms of these viral illnesses in pigs are sudden loss of
appetite, seepage from nose, mouth or ears and labored breathing.
Pigs do not cough or sneeze with respiratory ailments, in fact by
the time they are breathing heavily it may pneumonia and may
already be too late.

If you see any sign of your pig not eating or just picking at its
food it is a good indication that it may be sick and should be
taken to the veterinarian. A pig is not like a dog in that a pig
never gets tired of food. They will never be picky or squeamish
about any food and will eat whatever they are given. Thus, if a
pig stops eating that is a sign that something is seriously

Most health issues that occur with your pig can be cured so long
as they are caught early enough to be treated. You might want to
talk with your veterinarian about keeping some antibiotic around
to treat your pig should your veterinarian be unavailable when
something occurs.

As soon as you see your pig stop eating, start antibiotic
treatment. If the pig is totally disinterested in food, put the
antibiotic into a syringe with some liquid and squirt it in the
pig's mouth. Or you can get your piggy's favorite treat and
secret the antibiotic into it.

You pig will show a quick recovery if you start treatment early
enough. You should take your pig's temperature rectally to tell
the veterinarian should your pig be running a fever. Farm pigs
are normal at one hundred and two degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-nine
Celsius). Normal temperature in smaller pigs is from ninety-nine
to one hundred and one degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-seven to
thirty-eight degrees Celsius). A temperature even one point above
the norm is a fever in a pig. Understand that quick treatment is
essential when it comes to respiratory diseases. Once the lungs
are compromised there is little to be done except to make your
pig comfortable and pray that it recovers.

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