Atresia ani (no anus or rectum)

This disease primarily affects piglets. The key clinical sign is a blind rectum – the piglet has no anus and the abdomen becomes enlarged.
calendar icon 12 November 2018
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Background and history

The piglet is born with a blind end to its rectum, 5 to 10mm in length with no anus. The incidence in mature herds is usually less than 0.5 percent but it can be much higher in newly established gilt herds. Some piglets may survive to weaning.

Clinical signs and diagnosis

No rectum and no anus. The abdomens of affected piglets becomes enlarged.

Causes

The condition is heritable but of low penetrance. Records may indicate that a certain boar is involved.

Prevention

If the disease can be associated with a particular boar or a sow consistently produces piglets with the condition, discontinue that animal's reproductive use in the herd.

Treatment

It is not worth attempting surgical repair. Death invariably ensues. Affected piglets should be culled.

References
References

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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