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ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide

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Bacteria called clostridia produce toxins (poisons). Clostridium botulinum, which produces this disease grows in decaying vegetable matter producing the toxin which is then eaten. However botulism is rare in pigs. It should be considered as a food poisoning. See also clostridial diseases for additional information.


These are seen 4-48 hours or so after the toxin has been eaten.

All Pigs

  • Muscle paralysis.
  • Weakness of limbs leading to complete paralysis.
  • Blindness.
  • Excessive salivation.
  • Loss of bladder function.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Unusual in piglets.

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Decaying feed.
  • Contaminated water or feed.


This is based on the symptoms, evidence of decomposing food and demonstration of the presence of toxin by a laboratory .

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.