PARASITE CONTROL IN SWINE
Why We Worm Market Pigs
De-Worming pigs is the most overlooked and underestimated health practice! Worms are parasites that deprive the pig of nutrients and cause poor growth rates and other health issues such as, diarrhea, intestinal distress, and weight loss! Parasites will infect various organs and the intestinal tract. A wormed pig is a key element in managing a successful swine project.
Commonly Found Worms in Pigs are:
- Roundworms (Ascaris suum)
- Nodular worms (Oesophagostomumspecies),
- Intestinal threadworms (Strongyloides ransomi)
- Whipworms (Trichuris suis)
- Kidney worms (Stephanurus dentatus)
- Lungworms (Metastrongylusspecies)
When is it Necessary to Worm my Pig?
There are Two Basic Answers to this Question:
Basic Management – Worming your market pig is a mandatory step in your maintenance & management practice. Breeders recommend worming every 14-21 days with the last worming 30 days prior to the show to ensure adequate withdrawal times. The good news is that many of the available wormers have short withdrawal durations.
When there are signs – Additional worming must be administered when there are physical signs of infestation. Pigs will pick up larva in the soil and from each other.
If you house your pig on dirt and bedding: Worm every 14-21 days
If you house your pig on concrete and bedding: Worm every 30 days
Reflect the amount of time necessary for an animal to metabolize an administered product to a safe, acceptable level. Every federally approved drug or animal health product has a withdrawal period printed on the product label or package insert. Withdrawal times are not the same for all drugs.
NOTE – Any medicine or wormer given to your market animal must meet withdrawal times to qualify in market classes.
BE SURE TO KNOW WHAT THE WITHDRAWAL TIMES ARE FOR YOUR SHOW.
Symptoms may include the following:
- Dry Coughing – Lung Worms may be likely if the pig is in a dirt environment. If left untreated could lead to pneumonia & other respiratory issues.
- Poor Growth (or slow) – Stomach Worms
- Blood in feces (not common)
- Anemia – Stomach Worms
- Bloated or distended belly
- Rapid Breathing (lung worms)
- Hairy pigs
- Syringe for Injectable Wormers
- Two Types of Wormers (For rotation- Ivermectin & Safegard)
How De-Wormers Work
Worming is administered over a course of time to ensure that both the adult and larva are killed. Parasites reside in the stomach and intestinal tract of the pig, causing irritation, loss of nutrients from feed consumed by competing with the host.
Approved Drugs for Removal of Internal Parasites in Pigs
Administering Paste Wormers Orally to Pigs:
PASTE DEWORMERS – Dewormers can be purchased as a paste which makes it easier to administer. Administer over 3 days, 1/3 of the tube daily into the side of the pig’s mouth. Ivermectin and Safegard (fenbendazole) are two common dewormers.
Injectable Ivermectin can be given orally to de-worm or control mange mites/lice. Simply draw the recommended dosage in a syringe and a little more to cover any medicine lost in the process. I always aim to put the syringe (without the needle) into the corner of the mouth and dispense. They may not like the flavor much and may drool a little or rub their mouth…like a toddler eating broccoli! Dosage: 1 cc per 75 lbs. of weight.
Ivermectin Paste can also be administered over a 3-day period to control mange.
1 ml = 1cc
If administering dewormers by injection or paste is a problem for you, another sneaky way is to mix (1 cc per 75 lbs. of body weight) mixed into food such as canned pumpkin or yogurt. This dose should be given once a day for three days in a row. If worms are suspected, repeat the 3 day dosing two weeks after the first dosing. The manufacture recommends a sub-q injection, but industry professional say that the oral administration will also work.
If treating mange/lice/mites, administer 1 dose and keep the pig segregated for one week after treatment. Ivermectin takes a little time to take effect. Segregation will help reduce re-infestation. Louse eggs are unaffected by Ivermectin and will need to be treated after hatching. Re-administer Ivermectin in two weeks to kill the louse hatchlings.