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Navel Bleeding

At birth or within a few hours the piglet becomes extremely pale and in many cases dies.


  • Blood may be seen from the vulva.
  • Pale, low viable pigs.
  • Anaemia.
  • Blood on the floor of the pen arising from the navel.
  • Pigs found dead.
Weaners & Growers
  • N/A

Causes / Contributing factors

The condition arises in one of three ways:
  1. The piglet's blood may be pooled into the placenta during farrowing. If the cord is broken at birth, the piglet will be pale and anaemic. Affected piglets are more likely from old sows and in large litters.
  2. Pigs are sometimes born with a haemorrhage or a haematoma in the cord itself. The cause of this is unknown but in some cases it is related to premature cord cutting and removal of the piglet from behind the sow at farrowing.
  3. Continual bleeding from the navel during the first 3 to 4 hours after birth.
Other factors that predispose:
  • Navel bleeding is associated with the use of wood shavings as bedding.
  • Warfarin poisoning can be responsible for haemorrhage.
  • Mycotoxins from contaminated feed have been implicated
  • A riboflavin deficiency has been implicated.
  • In some herds there appears to be an association with the use of prostaglandin to synchronise farrowings.
  • Do not allow excessive trauma to the cord within 3 hours of birth. This may occur if too many piglets are fastened in the creep area.


This is by clinical signs.

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.