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Cystitis / Pyelonephritis

See also chapter 7

(327) The stress of farrowing can activate a chronic infection.

Clinical signs

Bladder and kidney infections are very common in the sow but disease is usually seen in the early pregnancy period. The stress of farrowing can occasionally activate disease and in such cases the response to treatment is usually poor. The disease is usually acute, the sow is very sick, toxic and continually passing blood stained urine, which often dribbles out from the vulva. Occasionally the more chronic form will be seen where the sow passes urine containing small amounts of pus, mucus and occasionally blood. Mortality can be high.


This is based on the clinical signs and in particular the changes in the urine. The disease can be life threatening in the lactating sow. Remember that a dead piglet in the womb may give similar symptoms.


  • Antibiotic therapy must be given immediately by injection twice daily for a period of at least 4 to 5 days.
  • The best medicines to use are: trimethoprim/sulpha, semi synthetic penicillins such as amoxycillin, lincomycin, oxytetracycline or penicillin/streptomycin.
  • The dose will vary from 7 to 10mls depending on the body weight of the sow and the strength of the preparation used.
Management control and prevention
  • Once a sow has shown clinical signs of cystitis or pyelonephritis and lactation has ceased it is advisable to cull her.

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