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Anaemia is caused by the lack of sufficient, or diseased red cells in the blood. This is mainly a disease of the piglet because it is born with limited supplies of iron, a vital component in blood cells. If the piglet does not have access to iron in the first 2 - 3 weeks it's red cell capacity to absorb oxygen (anaemia) is impaired. Anaemic animals will be susceptible to infertility.


All pigs (mainly seen in piglets)
  • Pale skin.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Jaundiced sometimes(Skin slight yellow appearance).
  • Mucous membranes of the eyes are pale.
  • Scour, sloppy diarrhoea.
  • Signs of haemorrhage.
  • Symptoms of specific disease.
  • Weakness.
  • May be increased stillbirths.

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Eperythrozoonosis (Epe)
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Haematoma
  • Internal bleeding
  • Loss of blood visible
  • Porcine enteropathy (PE)
  • Prolapse of the rectum
  • Torsion of the stomach and intestines
  • Faulty nutrition.
  • Lack of iron or copper.
  • Warfarin poisoning.


This is based on the clinical signs and examination of blood samples by red cell counts, levels of haemoglobin and visual appearance of the red cells under the microscope.

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.