ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide
Sows bite at the vulva, which has become swollen with advancing pregnancy, particularly when access to food fed on the floor is poor. A sow bites the vulva to gain access to feed. The trauma causes haemorrhage, infection and the development of scar tissue which may inhibit the farrowing process.
- Blood on the noses of sows.
- Blood around the vulva of the affected sow.
- Swollen red torn infected vulva.
- Occasionally inappetence.
- Scar tissue.
- Low grade infections.
- Ascending womb infections discharges.
- Repeats in some badly affected sows.
Causes / Contributing factors
- Group behavioural abnormalities.
- Vulval biting is much more common in pens that are long and narrow rather than those that are wide. There is less competition at feeding time in a wide pen.
- Vulva biting is also common when electronic feeder systems are used. It requires careful stockmanship and good pen design to prevent it.
- There is a relationship between vulva biting and feed intake, the size of the feed pellet, the type of floor surface and the bedding used. Many cases occur in the last 3 - 4 weeks of pregnancy.
- High stocking densities predispose.
DiagnosisMade from the symptoms, examine the vulva for trauma.
May be confused with cystitis.