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Bursitis is a common condition that arises from constant pressure and trauma to the skin overlying any bony prominence. The membrane or periosteum covering the bone reacts by creating more bone, a swelling develops and the skin becomes thicker until there is a prominent soft lump. Bursitis may cause the skin to become broken and secondary infection can develop. Mycoplasma can also infect the fluid in the swelling.

Under normal circumstances, if there is no secondary infection, the condition is not commercially important but if breeding stock is being produced then the system needs to be adjusted or there will be a drop in selection rates.


All Pigs
  • Swellings develop over the lateral sides of the hocks and elbows and over the points of the hocks.
  • Occasional lameness may be seen.
  • Infection may occur.
  • If skin is broken and secondary infection occurs abscesses develop.
  • Ulceration of the skin.

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Poor floor surfaces.
  • Lack of bedding.
  • High stocking densities on slats.
  • Bad slats in confinement.


Visual examination.

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.