- news, features, articles and disease information for the swine industry

ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide

Use the above box to quickly switch to another disease

Teat Necrosis

Teat necrosis is a condition in which rubbing the end of the teat causes the teat tip to die (necrosis) and slough off. It is of no consequence in commercial herds which are buying in replacement gilts but it is very important where breeding females are being produced.

It first becomes evident 12 to 24 hours after birth. The teats in front of the umbilicus are the ones at risk because these have the greatest contact with the floor during sucking.

Commercially the condition is not important but it is if gilts are reared for breeding.


  • The teat end appears bright red gradually becoming black.
  • The damage can be severe resulting in a blind or inverted teat.
  • Teats may show permanent damage from trauma at birth.
  • More common in the teats in front of the navel.
Weaners & Growers
  • N/A

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Trauma to the teats occurs on all floor surfaces but to a lesser extent on those that are well bedded with shavings or straw.


Examine teats 8 - 24 hours after birth for red or black teat sphincters.

Further Reading

Click on the links below to find out more about this disease, including treatment, management control and prevention information. The top link is the main article on this disease.