Epitheliogenesis imperfecta (imperfect skin)

This disease only affects piglets. The key clinical sign is areas devoid of skin.
calendar icon 14 November 2018
clock icon 6 minute read

Background and history

The piglet is born devoid of areas of skin that have failed to develop correctly. It usually occurs on legs or flanks. The front leg is a common site.

If these areas are small they will gradually heal but if they are more than 15mm in diameter it will be necessary to infiltrate local anaesthetic, loosen the skin and stitch it together. This will depend on the availability of skin and whether the loss is over the flanks where there is plenty of skin, or over the legs where there is little.

Clinical signs

Born devoid of areas of skin.


This is based on the clinical signs.


A developmental abnormality.


If it involves an area of loose skin such as over the flank, local anaesthetic can be injected, the skin edge separated and the two edges sutured using mattress or interrupted sutures.

In severe cases the piglet should be destroyed.

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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