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Shoulder Sores

(480) They arise due to constant trauma over the bony prominences on the shoulder blade. Ultimately the skin breaks, there is an erosion and a large sore develops. It is associated with totally slatted flooring and individual sows that have a prominent spine to the shoulder blade. It is first noticed in the farrowing crates where the floors are slippery and the sow has difficulty in rising, thus constantly bruising her shoulder. Such sows should not be kept for future breeding.


This has become a large ulcerating granuloma.

Clinical signs

At the highest point on the spine of the scapula or shoulder blade a reddening of the skin first appears, which gradually forms into an ulcer. In severe cases the lesion may extend to 40-70mm in diameter with the development of extensive granulation tissue. Often both sides of the shoulder are affected.


  • As soon as the condition appears move the sow into a well bedded pen. Feed ad lib for 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Cut a hole slightly larger than the sore in a 70mm square piece of foam or thick carpet and place over the shoulder sore. Hold it in place with contact adhesive such as evostik. This pad will then protect the sore and allow it to heal.
  • Large granuloma that sometimes develop can be surgically removed.
  • Watch for cannibalism by sucking pigs. If this occurs wean the sow.

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