ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide
When pigs are found dead behind the sow they are usually recorded as stillbirths which may be wrong. They may have died after farrowing having breathed but died of chilling and hypoglycaemia.
- Found dead behind the sow. They may be fresh or 3 - 4 days old.
Causes / Contributing factors
- Stillbirths increase with the increasing age of the sow.
- Individual sows may be regular offenders and these can be identified by the sow litter card. The farrowing process should then be monitored.
- Stillbirths occur more in larger litters.
- Stillbirths are more common in pure breeds.
- Stillbirths are common in prolonged farrowings.
- Lack of exercise during pregnancy may raise stillbirth rates.
- Stillbirths are raised where there is a long gestation period.
- Farrowing house temperatures above 24?C (75?F) increase the risk of stillbirths.
- Uterine inertia results in stillbirths.
- High carbon monoxide levels in the air associated with faulty gas heaters can raise stillbirth rates significantly.
- Pigs found dead behind the sow can sometimes be related to particular farrowing crates in certain rooms and are due to draughts behind the sow.
Diseases of the sow which may result in stillbirths:-
- Aujeszky's disease.
- Parvovirus infection.
- Toxoplasmosis (poisoning).