Water deprivation has been identified by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as the most likely cause of health problems in a recently-weaned group of 16 pigs, nine of which became ill shortly after being moved, with four subsequently dying.
Details of the case are included in APHA’s pig disease surveillance report for September, ending with the conclusion that it was “possible” that the recent move meant the pigs which had become ill had not found the water bowl or that there had been some temporary interruption to supply.
Problems in the 16-pig group started to emerge four days after the 12-week-old pigs were moved to an outdoor pen. The nine which became ill showed a range of symptoms including blindness, aimless wandering and rapid respiratory rate.
The four which died were submitted to Bristol University for post-mortem examination, which found “dry stomach contents and tacky sub-cutaneous tissues indicating dehydration”.