Diseases in pig production

Like people, pigs can carry diseases and illnesses that are very harmful to their health. Below is information on some of the diseases that can affect pigs. Information on other pig diseases is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/swine/

Classical swine fever is caused by a virus. A virus is a very small organism that is smaller than a bacterium and cannot grow or reproduce without a living organism. Pigs that are infected with this might show a loss in appetite or a fever. Other symptoms include diarrhea or discoloration of the skin.

Foot and mouth disease is a disease that affects cloven-footed animals. Cloven-footed means the animal has feet that are divided into two parts. Examples of this kind of animal would be pigs or deer. This disease can cause fevers and then blusters on the feet and mouths of pigs. Foot and mouth disease can spread quickly. It is caused by a virus called a picornavirus.           

Aujeszky’s disease is caused by a herpesvirus and signs may vary depending on the age of the animal. Symptoms include nervous and respiratory system problems, abortions and stillbirths in pregnant females. Deaths from this disease are higher among younger pigs.

African swine fever is very similar to classical swine fever and needs laboratory testing to tell the difference between the two illnesses. Pigs that have this will have a high temperature, diarrhea, and vomiting. A lot of pigs that have African swine fever will most likely die. If any sign of this illness is seen, the government should be informed.

If any of the above diseases are suspected in a herd, the pig producer should notify a veterinarian.

Learn about other diseases that can affect pigs

Learn about diseases that can spread between animals and humans