Brucellosis in Pigs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Brucellosis in pigs is not a very common swine disease, yet, it’s important to understand how pigs get Brucellosis, how you can know if your pig has brucellosis, and the prevention and control methods.


Causes of Brucellosis in Pigs

The organism/bacteria Brucella suis is the cause of brucellosis disease in pigs.

This organism can survive for a period of up to 2 years in protein-containing animal tissue such as the remains after birth and on pasture.


How do pigs get Brucellosis?

The sources of infection or the means pigs get Brucellosis include afterbirths, fetal fluid, post-parturient vaginal discharges, and milk.

Brucellosis infection is either through mucous membranes of conjunctiva and mouth or through some wounds on the skin of the pigs.

Swine can also become infected by Brucellosis when they feed on contaminated feeds or water.

brucellosis in pigs symptoms and treatment

Brucellosis in Pigs Symptoms

To know if your pig(s) has Brucellosis, then you need to look for the following symptoms, although the symptoms of Brucellosis can vary from one area to the other.
  • The testicles of an infected male pig will become swollen
  • The pigs can become lame
  • Temporary or permanent sterility is also pbserved
  • Abortion, in fact Brucellosis is also known as contagious abortion.
  • Weak piglets, when a pregnant sow is infected.
  • Stillborn
  • Posterior paralysis


Treatment of Swine Brucellosis

Brucellosis could be acute, subacute, or chronic after an incubation period of at least 14 days and results in temporary or permanent sterility, stillborn or weak pigs.

Abortion may also result when the sow is 2 or 3 weeks pregnant while inflammation of the testicles in males may cause sterility.

There is no effective treatment for this disease. Therefore, control and prevention programs of testing and or disposing of infected animals should be rigid.

If many of the breeding animals are affected, it may be wise to replace them with disease-free stock.

However, there are vaccines for brucellosis that work by developing an immune response that increases pigs resistance to the Brucella suis bacteria and the disease.


Swine Brucellosis Transmission

Brucellosis is an infectious disease and it’s transmissible to man and other animals.

If a man or other animals come in contact with an infected pig, its remain or products, then, it can be contracted.

Cattles, goats, dogs and man are most commonly infected with Brucellosis suis bacteria through pigs.

Other species of Brucella such as Brucella abortus in cattle and bison can also infect dogs.

The Brucella suis bacteria can survive up to 2 years and when it’s transmitted to man, it’s called undulant fever.

The symptoms of Brucellosis in man include night sweats, general body weakness, recurrent fever, back pain, headache, joint pain, weight loss and poor appetite.