calendar icon 3 December 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

Poisonings associated with herbicides are much more common in cattle and sheep than in pigs. The important ones however include arsenic. borax and pentachlorphenols (PCPs). The latter can be absorbed through intact skin or mucous membranes to which they are highly irritant.

PCP's are used widely as preservatives, insecticides, fungicides and molluscicides but generally they are inactivated in soils when used correctly. Contact with treated wood used in feeding troughs can cause salivation and severe irritation to the mouth.

Clinical signs

These include nervous changes, respiratory distress, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and death.


This can be difficult but a careful examination of the products on the farm and their access will often assist.


  • If nervous signs are severe use a sedative such as stresnil. Give electrolytes.

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.

More Disease guide

View all

Porcine Circovirus (PCV1/PCV2/PCV3) (PCVAD)

calendar icon 6 May 2022
clock icon 1 minute read


calendar icon 4 December 2018
clock icon 1 minute read


calendar icon 3 December 2018
clock icon 1 minute read
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.