A variety of internal parasites, or worms, can affect the health of pigs. These parasites include roundworm, threadworm, kidney worm and coccidiosis. It is important to look for signs of worm infestation --- not only for the health of the pig, but for the health of humans who might ingest its meat if it will be slaughtered for food. Eating contaminated pig meat can cause severe illness.
Observe your pig's breathing. If it is wheezing or coughing, this could be a sign of internal parasites such as lungworms. Other species of parsites can cause wheezing and coughing in the larval stage.
Inspect the pig's fecal matter for signs of worm infestation. In some cases, worms can be seen directly in the faeces. Worms diseases such as coccidiosis and trichuris can cause blood in the faeces. Several species of worms such as roundworms cause diarrhoea.
Inspect the pig's urine. Blood in the urine stream can indicate a kidney worm infestation.
Assess the overall body form of the pig. If it has lost a significant amount of weight, this may be a sign of worm infestation.
Inspect the pig's gums. If they are white and dry to the touch, as oppossed to pink and moist, this may be a sign of anaemia which can be caused by worm infestation.
Observe the pig's behaviour. If it changes suddenly, for example, the pig becomes sluggish and stops eating, this could be a sign of worm infestation.
If you suspect your pig has a worm infestation, seek veterinary care immediately.
Tips and warnings
- If you suspect your pig has a worm infestation, seek veterinary care immediately.