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Skin lesions in pigs and how to deal with them

21 декабря 2021

Grechukhin A.N., member of the Expert Council on Veterinary Medicine of the National Union of Pig Breeders Baidikov S.M., Chief veterinarian of the Department of Pig breeding and feed Production of LLC "Agropromkomplektatsiya – Kursk".

During the operation and cultivation of pigs in conditions of intensive technology, mass pathologies arise that cause significant economic damage to farms. Most of these pathologies relate to respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal diseases.

But there is a whole group of diseases of pigs, which is accompanied by lesions of the skin, both infectious and non-infectious, or these lesions occur as a result of injury to animals, both by service personnel and each other. And here a paradox arises. The higher the epizootic state of the farm, the fewer manifestations of infectious and other mass diseases of pigs, the higher the cull of pigs for various lesions of the traumatic order, which can reach 2%.

If we try to classify pig diseases occurring with skin disorders, we will get:

Infectious diseases:

Parasitic diseases:

Alimentary and other diseases:


Let's highlight a few of the most common and problematic skin disorders.

Cannibalism is an abnormal behavior of pigs, especially piglets of rearing, characterized by mutual gnawing of tails, ears, and less often other parts of the body. The lack of protein in the feed and the lack of the feed itself contributes to the emergence of cannibalism. In addition, the reason may be a low content of sodium chloride. It is proved that this pathology manifests itself with an increased concentration of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide. A compacted landing provokes the development of cannibalism, especially if there is necrosis of the ears due to eperitrozoonosis.

There have been cases of cannibalism due to mass rectal prolapse in boars due to zearalenone mycotoxicosis.

Pig eperythrozoonosis (eperythzoonosis suis) is an infectious disease characterized by necrosis of the auricles and tail. The causative agent of the disease is Mycoplasma suis. Mycoplasma causes microagglutination of erythrocytes. Immune complexes are formed that clog capillary vessels at the end of the body, which leads to necrosis of the edges of the ears and the tip of the tail (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Necrosis of the ears in eperitrozoonosis of pigs.

Animals are attracted by the smell and taste of the tissue fluid of necrotic surfaces and this again leads to outbreaks of cannibalism.

Post-vaccination complications in the form of abscesses (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Postvaccinal abscess.

Occur due to several reasons:

Due to the resulting inflammatory reactions and abscesses, large parts of the neck muscles are cut out during the slaughter of the animal and go to scrap.

Limb diseases

The most common diseases of the extremities are found in suckling pigs and breeding boars, in the form of damage to the joints and hooves of a traumatic nature, which are complicated by strepto-staphylococcal infection.

Boars have cracks in the horny shoe, joint inflammation with fistulas and ulcers (Figure 3). Contributes to the morbidity of the content on plastic slotted floors, the load on the hind limbs during the cage, metabolic disorders, increased humidity of the horn shoe with frequent washing.

Figure 3. Injuries of the hind limbs in a boar.

The formation of ulcers on the surface of the body is a common phenomenon in modern complexes. Many experts agree that there are several reasons for this. First, pigs of the new genotype have a decrease in the fat layer, which is a buffer between the disturbed skin and the muscles of the animal.

Therefore, numerous mechanical damage to the skin in the area of the shoulder blade against the fencing of machines and feeders, animal bites by each other lead to inflammatory processes and the formation of ulcers and abscesses. (Figures 4,5).


Figures 4,5. Superficial ulcers in piglets

Secondly, keeping animals on solid slotted floors inevitably leads to traumatism of the skin in the extremity area when getting up or even more with a rough forced lifting of animals.

In practice, injured surfaces are treated with various aseptic sprays (Terramycin spray, Chemi spray, Allumizol spray, Forticline spray, etc.), which mostly contain the antibiotic chlortetracycline and paint. Usually a patented blue and gentian violet.

This method of treatment is effective and justified if it is possible to isolate a sick animal. When processed directly in group machines, the effect is minimal, since animals still show interest in wound surfaces and continue to gnaw injured areas, which leads to premature culling of sick animals.

In this regard, the question arose about choosing a remedy that would not be attractive to pigs and had aseptic properties. The choice fell on the ANTISEPTIC STIMULANT D-3 fraction. ANTISEPTIC STIMULANT D-3 fraction is a product of dry distillation of animal tissues and, as is known, is a powerful biogenic stimulant, which has proven to be widely popular with veterinarians for more than one generation.

The drug stimulates the activity of the reticular-endothelial system, normalizes trophic processes and accelerates the regeneration of damaged tissues, has an aseptic and anti-inflammatory effect. And also has a completely unique smell, averting from the possibility of decomposition and gnawing of the wound surface, and more importantly, has repellent properties.

For the production experience, we took a specially developed aerosol form of ANTISEPTIC STIMULATOR D-3 fraction, from the Russian manufacturer BIOSTIM LLC.

The experiment with the drug ANTISEPTIC – STIMULATOR D-3 fraction was carried out at the enterprise "Troitsky pig complex" - a branch of LLC "Agropromkomplektatsiya – Kursk" on piglets of group 3-6 aged 125-130 days at the fattening site, where cannibalism was observed in animals (sides and tails were gnawed).

4 sections were selected for the experiment. The experimental 2 sections were treated with ANTISEPTIC STIMULATOR D–3 fraction in an aerosol, the control 2 sections were treated with a spray containing oxytertacycline and patented blue. Both drugs were used 2 times a day with an interval of about 4-5 hours. In addition to external treatment, oxytetracycline was injected into the animals. After 3-4 days of treatment with an aerosol ANTISEPTIC STIMULANT D–3 fraction in animals, the affected surfaces began to dry out and a scab formed. The inflammatory processes around the wound were significantly reduced. Another distinctive feature of this drug is a unique smell that scared away animals.

In the control group, it was noticed that the bright color of the drug aroused interest in the animals and they began to bite these places. As a result, processing was stopped

"Control spray" and switched to ANTISEPTIC STIMULANT D–3 fraction in the form of an aerosol.

Thus, the ANTISEPTIC STIMULANT D–3 fraction in a new, original dosage form has gained a second wind, and certainly deserves attention in the treatment of numerous pathologies of pigs with skin disorders.

The drug is used in the form of an aerosol directly on the damaged surface, 1 time a day until recovery.

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