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Ascariasis of pigs is considered a conditionally dangerous disease that affects the development and growth of piglets. In some cases, the death of young animals is possible, since their immunity may not cope with the toxic effects of parasitic organisms.
General characteristics of the disease
The causative agent of the disease is the roundworm Ascaris suum. They enter the pig's body and continue to develop in the small intestine. Ascaris females are quite large - on average, 30 cm, and males reach a maximum height of 25 cm.
Life cycle of the parasite:
- Each female produces from 100 to 250 eggs.
- They leave the pig's body along with feces, and, once in a warm environment rich in water and oxygen, the eggs begin to invade. This stage lasts up to 4 weeks.
- If the roundworm egg at the stage of invasive development has entered the pig's body along with water or food, then parasitic larvae appear in the intestines of the animal.
- From the digestive tract, they pass into the pig's liver.
- After a while, the larvae are sent to the pig's right atrium.
- Then they enter the lungs.
- During coughing, the piglet swallows the larvae along with the mucus.
- Once in the pig's body again, the ascaris begins to grow: this is how the pig's ascariasis develops.
The main source of infection of pigs with ascariasis is sick individuals and their places of residence. Since the eggs of the parasite have high indicators of resistance to external environmental factors, they can remain in the soil for about 3 years without dying in the hot season and even with frosts at -30 oC. The main reasons for the appearance of ascariasis in pigs include the following:
- the use of feed by pigs with ascaris eggs;
- sucking milk from a mother who has parasite eggs on her skin;
- eating contaminated soil (piglets eat it when there is a lack of minerals in the feed);
- unsanitary conditions for keeping pigs;
- eating earthworms, which are carriers of parasite larvae;
- the presence in the environment of a large number of beetles, flies and other insects, which are a reservoir and source of invasion;
- infection of piglets with worms in the womb;
- insufficient methods of prevention, as well as neighborhood with sick pigs.
Why parasites are dangerous for pigs
Ascariasis is especially dangerous for young pigs: with age, the threat of infection decreases. Young animals, the age of which is 3 - 5 months (pigs and weaners), are especially affected.
Dangerous consequences of infection of pigs with roundworms:
- hemorrhage: occurs due to the migration of larvae through the body. During the movement of ascaris through the tissues and organs of the piglet, small vessels are damaged;
- inflammatory processes;
- pig intoxication: the larvae living in the body of pigs can not only release their waste products, but also die, which negatively affects the animal's immune system;
- allergy to products of metabolism of larvae;
- damage to the intestinal mucosa of the pig;
- blockage of the gastrointestinal tract and its rupture with the subsequent death of the pig;
- obstruction of the outflow of bile: in the case when the parasite enters the bile duct;
- ascariasis pneumonia: occurs in young pigs with a strong infection.
Distribution and causes
Ascariasis of pigs is a disease that has no boundaries. The larvae of parasites can live in almost any conditions, therefore, there is no territorial division into dangerous and safe regions. The only difference is that in areas with a humid and warm climate, there is a risk of infection with ascariasis in piglets all year round. Regions with harsher climates are less vulnerable, but the peak of the spread of ascariasis occurs in the spring and summer months. Roundworms are most widespread in regions where pig breeding is large-scale, as well as in tropical zones and countries with a low standard of living.
Ascariasis disease statistics
Percentage of pigs infected with ascariasis (of the total population)
55 — 65%
50 — 60%
30 — 35%
30 — 35%
The main reasons for the development of ascariasis in piglets include the following factors:
- vitamin deficiency: that is why in countries where there is no financial opportunity to introduce special additives into pig feed, the number of infected animals has a high percentage;
- poor care, violation of the rules for keeping piglets;
- unbalanced nutrition, in which the required amount of minerals and carotene does not enter the pig's body;
- dampness in pigsties and high levels of air humidity;
- purchase of feed in areas where there is an increased level of ascaris infestation.
Pig ascariasis symptoms
Every piglet owner should know about the signs of worms in pigs, since the health of the livestock and even life depends on this. The clinical picture depends entirely on the stage of development of the larvae that have entered the body. It is customary to divide the degree of infection into two forms:
- chronic (intestinal or imaginal) - adult worms multiply in the body;
- acute (pulmonary, lavral, migratory) - develops in the initial period of migration of larvae through the body of a piglet.
Symptoms of acute ascariasis in pigs:
- breathing is difficult, hoarse;
- the presence of bronchogenic pneumonia and bronchitis, which are manifested by a dry cough of a piglet, as well as a cough, in which there is a discharge of purulent and mucous sputum;
- increase in body temperature - up to indicators 41 - 42 oC;
- convulsions and paresis;
- anxiety, behavior of a piglet, similar to fright;
- manifestation of allergic reactions;
- cyanosis of the mucous membranes;
- redness of the skin, accompanied by short convulsions of a pig (no more than 1 min.);
- increased breathing;
- teeth grinding;
- swelling of the intermaxillary region and the eyelids of the piglet.
Symptoms of chronic pig ascariasis:
- loss of interest in food by young animals;
- constipation, alternating with diarrhea;
- the presence of signs of gastroenteritis;
- weight loss;
- pig growth retardation.
In the absence of effective therapy for worms, anorexia, anemia, intoxication and eosinophilia develop, which can lead to the death of a piglet.
Attention! The chronic stage of infection with ascariasis in adult pigs can proceed without any symptoms. And in the course of treatment (if the infection was intense), dead parasites can lead to unexpected death of the pig, blocking the intestinal passages.
Signs of worms in piglets
Small pigs, which are at greater risk of infection with roundworms, are more difficult to tolerate the development of worms in their body. To the above symptoms, which are characteristic of all ages of the animal, you can add the following signs characteristic of young pigs:
- trembling of the belly and limbs (observed in pigs);
- the desire to lie on its side, rapid fatigue;
- uncoordinated movements;
- feces mixed with blood or colored black;
- separation of saliva in large quantities;
- the pig's desire to hide (bury) in the litter;
- rashes, manifested in the form of flat papules, which disappear after several days, and dark stripes remain in their place.
These symptoms should be of greatest concern to owners of three-month-old piglets.
Diagnosis of ascariasis in piglets is carried out in various ways, each of which has its own pros and cons.
Methods for diagnosing ascariasis
The eggs of the parasites float on the surface of a saturated saline solution. The method is affordable.
The eggs float slowly.
Feces taken for a sample is diluted in a mixture of mineral salts. They are sent to a centrifuge, where eggs are identified under a microscope. The method is highly reliable.
The procedure is long and expensive in terms of equipment.
Fresh faeces are precipitated by first dissolving in water. Examine the results under a microscope. The method is accurate and reliable.
The analysis requires special equipment.
Stool samples are mixed with NaNO solution3... Accurate and affordable method.
The eggs of the parasites emerge rather slowly.
Feces centrifugation. The method is simple and effective.
Sample preparation takes a long time.
How to get rid of worms in pigs
Each owner should know not only about the symptoms of worms in piglets, but also about the methods of treatment at home. The further condition of the pig depends on how effective measures will be taken at an early stage of the disease and at the first detection of signs of infection.
Worm medicines for pigs
There are many drugs for worms for pigs, which are prescribed exclusively after consultation with a specialist and are selected based on the stage of development of worms. Most often, the following remedies for worms are prescribed:
Mode of application
Dosage in mg / kg body weight
Worm shots for pigs are not always the most effective. In some cases, a feed additive that is only applied for 2 days is the most practical.
Attention! For routine deworming of piglets, it is better to use Piperazine, and for the treatment of pigs, Tetramisole.
During treatment, piglets must be placed in separate rooms with concrete floors. Cleaning of the premises and treatment of inventory with alkaline solutions should also be carried out regularly. If there are vegetables in the pigs' diet, then they must be heat treated.
Folk remedies for worms in pigs
In addition to pills for worms, folk remedies are also used for pigs, which are also very effective.
- garlic - added to the food of the piglet at the rate of 1 g per 1 kg of the animal;
- a mixture of garlic and tansy flowers in a 1: 1 ratio at the rate of 1 g of the mixture per 1 kg of live weight;
- raw pumpkin - it is fed to adult pigs unboiled;
- beet tops - fresh, as one feeding;
- pickle from cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers - added to porridge or a pig's drink.
Treatment of worms in piglets
It is best to give drugs with a more gentle effect to small piglets for worms. They should be chosen by a veterinarian, having prescribed the necessary, and most importantly, safe dosage.
Medicines for worms in piglets
Most often, experts prescribe the following drugs to piglets:
- 10% -albendazole - granular powder from worms for pigs is used at the rate of 1 kg of live weight 100;
- preparations with iodine.
Important! Treatment of piglets from worms is carried out at the age of 1.5 months.
Treatment of piglets from worms with folk remedies
Young animals, which are most susceptible to infection due to a weak immune system, can also be recommended using folk remedies:
- tansy flowers - 1 tsp powder 1 time per day with food;
- pumpkin porridge;
- a decoction of pumpkin seeds.
A set of preventive measures
The negative effects that worms cause in pigs can be seen in the photo. To prevent their appearance and development, it is best to carry out a number of preventive measures. The main rule that all pig breeders should remember is: newly acquired pigs should be placed in a separate room (quarantine), where they are examined for the presence of all helminths, including roundworm.
As a preventive measure for the development of ascariasis in pigs, it is necessary:
- remove manure in the pigsty daily;
- follow the rules of farrowing;
- create comfortable conditions for newly farrowed pigs that meet sanitary standards;
- regularly rinse the entire inventory with a solution of soda ash (piglets feeders, pig drinkers, etc.);
- maintain a proper diet;
- carry out timely deworming of pigs;
- organize visits to the veterinarian by animals for routine examinations;
- separate walking and keeping of sexually mature pigs and young animals;
- incineration of manure obtained due to the vital activity of infected pigs;
- plow plowing for pigs annually (hold an event in the autumn);
- eliminate factors contributing to the development of the disease (high level of air humidity, high temperature, lack of natural ventilation of the room where pigs are kept).
Is it possible to eat meat if pigs have roundworms
If you do not promptly prescribe injections from worms or tablets to piglets, then there is a risk that the slaughtered pig will be infected with ascariasis. When eating meat containing the larvae of the parasite, there is a high risk of infection with human worms.
Due to the fact that adult worms and ascaris larvae in pork can remain viable for a long time, the use of contaminated meat is possible only after thorough heat treatment. Before eating pork, it must be fried, boiled or stewed at a temperature of at least 70 oC, only under this condition can piglet meat be considered safe for consumption.
Important! It is dangerous to eat lard (even salted) that has not been thoroughly frozen for several weeks.
Ascariasis of pigs is easier to prevent than to cure. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations for caring for animals and not break the schedule of vaccination of piglets against worms.