Salt Poisoning, Water Deprivation
It should be a daily routine to check that all sources of water are adequate, free flowing and available.
- The very early stages of disease are preceded by inappetence and dehydration. Whenever a sow or group of pigs are not eating always check the water supply first. Signs develop within 24 to 48 hours.
- The first signs are often pigs trying to drink from nipple drinkers unsuccessfully.
- Nervous signs then develop with fits and animals wandering around apparently blind.
- Pigs show signs of meningitis.
- Often a pig walks up to a wall, stands and presses its head against it.
- One sign strongly suggestive of salt poisoning is nose twitching just before a convulsion starts.
- Mortality is usually high.
- Unusual in young piglets.
Causes / Contributing factors
- Water shortage/deprivation.
- Excess salt in the diet.
DiagnosisThis is based upon the clinical signs and lack of water. Examination of the brain histologically at post-mortem confirms the disease.
Salt poisoning must be differentiated from Aujeszky's disease, swine fever, streptococcal meningitis and middle ear infection but this only affects one individual rather than a group.