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Eclampsia

(328) This is an uncommon condition associated with low levels of calcium in the blood stream (hypoglycaemia) and it may occur at any stage during pregnancy but more likely within seven days either side of farrowing.

Clinical signs

These are sudden in onset with the sow becoming distressed and panting heavily. There is muscle trembling and shaking of the body. The sow is also reactive to external stimuli, both touch and sound.

Diagnosis

This is based on the sudden onset and the clinical signs presented but it can be confused with the porcine stress syndrome (PSS). The response to calcium injections if given early enough help to differentiate. Most animals with PSS die regardless of treatment.

Treatment

  • This involves giving up to 100mls of 40% calcium boroglucinate by injection (this is the medicine used for treatment of the analogous condition in the dairy cow which is very common). Ideally the injection should be given intravenously but this can be difficult. Alternatively 25mls should be given by intramuscular injection at four separate sites in the neck. The muscles in the rump can also be used.
  • Cool the sow by spraying with cold water.

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