Muscle tear

This disease primarily affects sows and first litter gilts. The key clinical signs include periostitis; dog-sit position; reluctance to move.
calendar icon 15 November 2018
clock icon 6 minute read

Background and history

This is a common condition in sows and first litter gilts whereby the muscle fibres are torn away from their attachment to the bone and periosteum. This occurs where muscles are attached to the inner surfaces of the elbow and knee joints, and the points of attachment to the pelvis.

Clinical signs

Sows, weaners and growers

  • Painful inflammation of bone and periosteum (periostitis).
  • Affected sows often adopt a dog sitting position.
  • Pigs cannot stand.
  • Reluctance to move.
  • Lameness.
  • Incoordination.
  • Shivering.

Piglets

  • Piglet cannot stand – legs spread laterally.

Diagnosis

This is based on clinical signs.

Causes

  • Torn muscles arise as a sequel to osteochondrosis (OCD).
  • Trauma.
  • Fighting.
  • Slippery floors.
  • Weak bones.
  • Splay leg in piglets.

Treatment

Affected pigs as soon as they are identified should be moved to a solid floor area that is deep bedded where the grip for the foot is firm. Soiled or grass areas are ideal. If this is done most will recover.

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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