Piglets cough: reasons

Piglets cough for many reasons, and this is a fairly common problem that all farmers face sooner or later. A cough can be a reaction to unfavorable environmental conditions, or it can be a sign of a serious illness, so it is very important to take action on time.

What is the danger of coughing for pigs and piglets

Cough in piglets can be a symptom of dangerous, life-threatening diseases for animals, the treatment of which is often carried out only with medication. Pig diseases are very similar to human diseases. It is important to be able to recognize the first signs of their manifestation in time, since many of the diseases are infectious and can quickly spread from animal to animal, endangering the entire herd.

Signs of the manifestation of the disease

Cough is a normal reaction of the human and animal body to external stimuli. However, when the cough persists for an extended period of time, the pigs lose their appetite and any abnormal behavior appears, its causes should be found out as soon as possible.

Common signs of disease development in pigs:

  • cough;
  • dry skin, blemishes or rashes;
  • tousled matte bristles;
  • lethargy;
  • decreased or lack of appetite;
  • low or high body temperature;
  • overly agitated state.

Why a pig or a pig coughs: a list of possible causes

The main reasons piglets and pigs cough are:

  • poor ventilation in the room;
  • the presence of molds in the feed;
  • lack of nutrients;
  • trauma;
  • colds;
  • pneumonia;
  • tuberculosis;
  • gastroenteritis and other gastric diseases;
  • ascariasis;
  • the presence of a foreign body in the lungs;
  • irritation of the lungs.


If piglets are kept in unventilated, damp and cool rooms, they can catch colds. Weakening of the immune system and coughing can also cause a lack of nutrients and vitamins in the piglets, therefore it is important to use balanced feed of good quality for the nutrition of animals.

The first signs of the onset of colds is a cough, an overly agitated or, conversely, apathetic state. Another common symptom of a common cold is a change in ear color from pink to grayish.

It is recommended to treat colds in piglets with specialized medications and antibiotics, which are prescribed by a veterinarian. The best prevention is compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards and recommendations for animal feeding. To strengthen the immune system, pigs are injected with 15 - 20 ml of glucose 2 times a day.

Important! Self-medication for colds in piglets can cause complications. It is best to entrust the life and health of animals to experienced professionals.

Lung inflammation, tuberculosis

The cause of cough in piglets can be pneumonia, which is caused by harmful microorganisms that have entered the animal's body. The main symptoms of this disease are:

  • difficulty breathing;
  • the appearance of wheezing and dry cough;
  • increased body temperature;
  • lethargic, apathetic state, inactivity;
  • poor appetite and increased need for water;
  • development of conjunctivitis and the formation of crusts on the skin is also possible.

Another very dangerous disease for piglets is characterized by similar symptoms - infectious tuberculosis. When the first signs appear, it is necessary to isolate sick animals from the rest of the herd and call a veterinarian for a smear of mucous membranes and analysis of the condition of the animal. Such an analysis will identify the causative agents of the infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Inflammation of the lungs is treated with a combination of medicines, including antibiotics, for example, Spiramycin, Oxytetracycline, and others. Sprays such as Etazol and Norsulfazole can be used to disinfect the flock. It is very difficult and costly to treat tuberculosis in piglets, so sick animals are usually discarded.

Gastric disorders

Young piglets that are weaned early from sows and transferred to a standard diet may develop gastroenteritis. The main symptom of this disease is blue ears and a patch. Pigs cough, suffer from constipation and diarrhea, become inactive, eat little and do not gain weight. An unbalanced diet can also cause stomach diseases.

To cope with gastric diseases in piglets, washing the gastrointestinal tract with 0.9% saline will help. As a laxative, you can add 1 tsp to the feed. vegetable oil.

Advice! A good folk remedy for combating stomach diseases in piglets is a decoction of garlic or onions. The heads must be poured with boiling water in a ratio of 1:10, let it brew. The broth should be given to piglets 2 times a day, 1 tbsp. l.

Diarrhea in piglets is usually treated with chloramphenicol. With dehydration, the administration of saline is required. In some cases, antibiotic treatment may be required. At the same time, the feed must be enriched with vitamins. If the animal needs anesthesia, use a 1.5% solution of novocaine.


In some cases, a cough in piglets appears due to the presence of roundworms in the body, which grow, develop and reproduce in the body of animals, choosing the intestines as a habitat.

The length of roundworms reaches 20 - 35 cm. During the day, one female lays about 200 thousand eggs, which leave the piglets' body together with their waste products and accumulate in the enclosures. New animals become infected through the ingestion of ascaris eggs in the mouth. Some eggs laid in the intestine turn into larvae and break through its walls, penetrating into the bloodstream, and then with it into the bronchi and lungs. The larvae release toxins into the piglets' bodies that cause poisoning.

The mucus fills the lungs of the animal, interfering with normal breathing. Piglets develop a characteristic moist, expectorant cough. Together with the coughing up mucus, roundworms re-enter the pigs' body, contributing to re-infection. Adult parasites live in piglets' bodies for 5-7 months, re-infection can significantly prolong the course of the disease.

Important! Ascariasis is very dangerous for pregnant sows and young piglets. For prophylactic purposes, deworming is recommended for sows one month before farrowing.

Symptoms of ascariasis in pigs and piglets:

  • the presence of wheezing and coughing;
  • difficulty breathing or rapid breathing;
  • vomiting;
  • poor appetite or lack of it.

If these symptoms are present, infected piglets should be isolated as soon as possible, and the places where they are kept should be cleared of waste, leftover food and water. The next step is to disinfect the enclosures, for which you can use a 5% potassium solution or 3% iodine solution.To prescribe medication, it is worth contacting a veterinarian who can prescribe drugs such as Albendazole, Fenzol and others. Tansy flowers are considered a good folk remedy for ascaris.

Other causes of coughing in pigs or pigs

There are other reasons for the appearance of cough in piglets, which include development:

  • pasteurellosis;
  • salmonellosis;
  • African swine fever;
  • Aujeszky's disease.

These diseases are extremely dangerous and can take the life of an animal in a matter of hours. It is important to isolate coughing piglets in a timely manner and call the veterinary service.

Alien body

Another reason that the piglet is coughing may be a foreign body that has entered the body along with food. Usually, the treatment proceeds naturally and does not require outside intervention, but in some cases it is necessary to seek the help of a professional veterinarian.

Lung irritation

Lung irritation is a non-contagious cause of cough in piglets. It can be caused by gaseous allergens such as ammonia or feed dust. Therefore, when the pig eats, it coughs, inhaling food that is too chopped up, which enters the lungs, which leads to inflammation.

Diagnosis of diseases

It is often possible to save a pig, and sometimes an entire herd, only if signs of the disease are detected in time. Therefore, on an ongoing basis, it is recommended to carry out diagnostics of the condition of animals, including:

  • appetite control;
  • breathing rate check;
  • examination of the oral cavity, nose and eyes for the presence of various secretions;
  • examination of the body and limbs for the presence of neoplasms and tumors;
  • control of changes in color and state of feces and urine;
  • checking feces for the presence of helminths.

If the piglets have a cough or other signs of poor health, the first step is to measure their temperature. The body temperature of animals is considered the norm 38 - 40 oC. Diagnosis of viral diseases is carried out through laboratory tests.

How to treat a cough in piglets or pigs

The first thing to do if a piglet is coughing is to put it in a separate, isolated enclosure and call a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis, since the methods of treating various diseases are very different. Improper treatment can provoke complications, up to the death of the animal.

So, for example, in case of pneumonia in piglets, broad spectrum antibiotics are used: Oxytetracycline, Tilan, Bitsillin. The introduction of drugs is carried out intramuscularly. If necessary, after 7 to 10 days, the course of treatment can be repeated.

You can treat a pig that coughs due to worms with Albendazolo, Levamisole, Ivermectin: the dosages are selected by the doctor, depending on the body weight. After treatment for helminths, pigs can be slaughtered only after 10 days.

When infected with African plague, sick individuals must be taken to slaughter, and the room must be disinfected with a 2% formaldehyde solution so that the infection does not subsequently spread to healthy animals.

Important! Self-medication of piglets with antibiotics can lead to complications and cause irreparable harm to the animals. If used incorrectly, the pigs' body quickly becomes accustomed to the drugs, and further treatment may be ineffective. Before using any medications, it is recommended to consult a specialist.

Prevention measures

For the prevention of diseases, first of all, it is necessary to provide the piglets with proper housing conditions. The room must be dry, warm and clean. To avoid the accumulation of harmful gases, it is important to remove manure on time and monitor the balance of the animal's diet.

To make the piglets strong, pre-start compound feed is introduced into their diet from the 5th - 7th day of life. Weaners require special attention, since separating them from the mother is a stressful situation that contributes to the development of diseases.

In addition, great attention should be paid to the transportation of animals. It is not recommended to transport piglets on cold and damp days. Before transportation, it is desirable to use anti-stress drugs (tranquilizers, lithium salts, succinic or ascorbic acid).

On infected farms, allogeneic sera are used to treat healthy animals. In the presence of animals, the room can be disinfected with 1 - 2% chloramine solution.

For the purpose of general disinfection of aviaries, use:

  • 20% - slurry of freshly slaked lime;
  • 4% sodium hydroxide solution;
  • 2% iodine monochloride;
  • calcium hypochlorite solution containing at least 3% of the active substance;
  • 4% hydrogen peroxide solution.


The best solution if the piglets are coughing is to call the veterinarian. He will help to quickly establish the causes of cough and will be able to prescribe effective treatment in time, on which the life of animals often depends.

Comments (1)
  1. How to get rid of a cough appetite piglets have no good spots in the morning when you go to them they get up and start coughing and signs of regurgitation. What it is?

    06/11/2020 at 04:06
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