Health

Background

How to do a clinical pig examination?

Challenge

“Is it me or is that pig behaving funny?” Every pig farmer must have that question from time to time. Now how to verify if a pig might have a problem? Sometimes a basic check-up can help to get a first impression, to see if the hunch was correct. A clinical examination can be done in 4 steps.


  • Inside the pig house the examination starts with getting a general impression. Photo: Roodbont

    Inside the pig house the examination starts with getting a general impression. Photo: Roodbont

Best practice approach

  1. A check-up starts with homework: what is the history of the animal?

  2. What follows is a broader look, observing the pig and other herd members.

  3. Next step, a general examination.
    • Does the pig eat and defecate well?
    • Does it breathe normally and have no fever?
    • Do skin, hair, hooves, teats and vulva look normal?
    • Does the animal move awkward?

  4. In the case of more questions than answers, perhaps it is time to call the vet. He or she can for instance do laboratory tests, a post-morten examination or a climate analysis to find the cause of the problem.

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