Friday, March 10, 2017

Dippity Pig Syndrome



What is Dippity Pig? Dippity Pig is the name given to the condition that happens when our pigs seem loose control of their back legs and "dip" their backs screaming in pain. Some pigs will also have circular type lesion(s) along the spine of their back. Dippity Pig is now also referred to as Bleeding Back Syndrome and Erythema Miltiforme.

Though Dippity Pig can happen anytime of the year it is most common in the spring when temperatures are changing; meaning it is warming quickly with nice sunny days when most days have been cloudy.

It is scary to watch, but if you know what is happening to your pig and why, you will be prepared to handle it and not panic as much. 

The cause of Dippity Pig is still unknown. Some believe it to be stress related, but we have found that it seems to have something to do with heat, or exposure to sun after cloudy days. This has been the case here.

Take note that the condition is much more common in pigs under two years of age and won’t happen at all or frequently with older pigs.

Symptoms:

  • Dipping or temporary loss of back legs - usually when trying to look up
  • Screaming in pain
  • Sores on the back - usually along the spine and can ooze 
  • Untreated will usually last 2-4 days
  • Comes on quickly with no notice

Treatment:

There is no treatment for Dippity, nor is there any preventive medication available at this time since the exact causes have not been determined. There are things you can do to help your pig feel better while Dippity Pig it runs its course.  Leave pig alone as much as possible. Do not make it look up at you, doing so puts a strain on their back and will cause their back legs to collapse. Reduce stress by keeping the pig in a quite area with dimmed lights.

Skin lesions can be painful and luckily, topical creams or sprays can help reduce their severity. Vitamin E liquid or Aloe Vera gel can also help reduce the pain and discomfort of the lesions.

What can you do for pain? For more sever cases, you should take your pig in to the vet. There they can administer a dose of an anti-inflammatory such as Prednisone or another steroid in extreme cases. Aspirin can be given by the owner, but you must make sure to give the appropriate dose.

Remember, although very frightening to the owner (it has happened to 3 different pigs here), the distress and symptoms typically resolve with no treatment, within 24 hours. Your pig should still be eating, drinking and going potty normal. Anything else and it is probably not Dippity Pig. See your vet.  

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