What is the Science of Treating Bacterial Diseases in Pigs? | Ep. 14 of Hog Raising FAQs Show


By: Oreste D. David, DVM

Want to know how to treat bacterial diseases using antibiotics? Worried about antibiotic resistance developing in your pig farm?

To explore more on the science of treating bacterial diseases in pigs, I interviewed Dr. Alex Peralta on our Hog Raising FAQs Show. 

Dr. Alex Peralta is a Swine Expert and the the Sales, Marketing and Technical Support Head of Scuderia Marketing for Swine.

Dr. Peralta shares the importance of Biosecurity to keep out most common viral and bacterial diseases. He also discussed the proper medication using antibiotics based on the causative agent and dosage needed.

why is biosecurity important

Farm Biosecurity should be given priority nowadays, especially that African Swine Fever (ASF) nowadays is still causing mortalities to many pigs.

First, be aware that animal technicians or outsiders can carry the virus into our farm. It can be in their syringe, boots, cellphone or any accessories they have.

That is why it is important to implement shower-in procedure. Use soap and change clothing and boots.

This can help prevent the entry of ASF and other pathogens in the farm.


If you are still a newbie in hog raising or is not aware of the proper medication to use, you can consult a veterinarian for the correct medicine to use. 

Especially if you will need antibiotics because improper use will cause anti-microbial resistance.

For example, use of antibiotics in diarrhea problem in pigs will most like ly fail in 2 out of 3 cases. This is because there are 18 possible causes of diarrhea in pigs : 5 viruses, 3 Protozoa, 1 worm infestation, management factors and 6 bacteria.

First you have to identify the age of the pig affected. Then, identify the causative agents in that age group.

Figure 1 shows the common enteric problems due to bacteria for different age group.

If the problem is diarrhea at 7 days of age, Collibacillosis and Salmonella are the most common at this age.

Second, we then identify antibiotics effective for these 2 causative agent. Colistin is effective for these 2 bacteria, so this will be the drug of choice.


Figure 1. Common Enteric Problems of Pigs on Different Age Group

Another case is when we encounter post weaning diarrhea at week 5 to week 6. We have to check what may be the possible causative agent.

Again, based on Figure 1, common enteric problems are due to E. coli, Lawsonia (Ileitis), Salmonella and Clostridial diarrhea.

To treat post-weaning diarrhea, Lincomycin + Spectinomycin can be used because it is effective for these microorganisms (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Indications of Linco-Spectin Antibiotic

how to give treatment based on other factors

Here are medication tips to make the treatment program effective

  1. Finish medication for 5 to 7 days treatment. This will prevent the remission of the disease.  If treatment is discontinued, the bacteria can increase again to infective level and the animal can get sick again.

  2. Follow the frequency of injection according to the label of the medicine. For example, if the injectable antibiotic is not long acting like Procaine Penicillin, you should at lease give the antibiotic once or twice a day. If the antibiotic is long acting like Oxytetracycline LA, you can give every 2 to 3 days.

  3. For intramuscular injection, the injection site should be between the base of the ear, shoulder and armpit (see Figure 3). Many hog raisers give intramuscular injection at the nape of the pig because it is easily accessible. 

  4. The angle of injection should be considered to prevent the medicine  deposited in the skin or the fat layer of the skin. It should reach the muscle region so that it will be absorbed in the body. The correct length of needle should be used and the needle should be inserted perpendicular to the skin. (see Figure 4). 

Figure 3. Injection site in Pigs (inside the triangle area)

Figure 4. Angle of Needle Injection

key takeaways from this episode

  • We should give importance to biosecurity, good management and proper nutrition to prevent diseases in the farm and attain better results.

  • Antibiotics should be used judiciously in treating bacterial diseases in pigs.

  • We should consult veterinarians for proper dosage and correct usage of antibiotics to prevent unwanted side effects.

  • Tune into our weekly Hog Raising Frequently Asked Question Show. Watch live on Saturdays at 4 PM Philippine time on our Facebook Page  and Youtube Channel

  • Check out our E-book “How to be a Millionaire Hog Raiser”

  • Check out these injectable antibiotics in Viddavet Shop Section

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