Micro Pig Parasites

Sometimes the host micro pig is directly affected by the parasite itself. In other cases, the impor­tant consideration is the damage done by the parasite and the diseases that can invade the damaged tissues. Identification and eradication of the parasites should be of primary concern.

Internal Micro Pig Parasites (Endoparasites)

Do not routinely deworm without checking a fecal sample. You will not know what type of parasiticide to use unless you identify the parasite. This simple test can help you deter­mine if it is really necessary to deworm your micro pig, thus saving possibly unnecessary stress to your animal and money for your pocketbook. Collect a fresh fecal sample (a tablespoon is usually more than adequate) and place in a Ziploc bag or empty pill container. Take the sample to your veterinarian.

There is an injectable general wormer that controls many worms and parasites that your micro pig could be harboring. The weight of the micro pig must be established to determine the proper dosage. Dewormers should be used alternately with another type of dewormer so that the parasites do not develop a resistance to any one type. There is also a pour-on topical wormer that systemically rids your micro pig of most internal and external parasites.

When your micro pig has been treated for para­sites and is ready to be reintroduced to its normal surroundings, be certain all fecal mat­ter has been removed. The micro pig’s area and fa­cilities should be thoroughly cleaned before your micro pig returns. Removal of the micro pig to an­other area for several months would greatly help to prevent reinfestation.

Some internal parasites your micro pig can har­bor are:

Threadworms (Strongyloides ransomi)

These burrow into the small intestine and can cause anemia and death.

Large roundworms (Ascaris suum)

Found in the small intestine and migrate to the stom­ach. They can be 12 inches (30 cm) or more in length and very thick. The eggs are passed in the feces. When they are ingested, they hatch in the intestine, penetrate its wall, and pass into the liver. After growing there, they migrate to the lungs via the bloodstream, eventually returning to the digestive system when the micro pig swallows its sputum, where they mature. They affect weanlings to adults and can cause severe damage. The migrating lar­vae can damage liver and lungs and produce conditions favorable for bacterial and viral pneumonias, and diarrhea.

Whipworms (Trichuris suis)

Found in the mucosa of the cecum and colon. In young micro pigs they can cause bloody diarrhea by accumulat­ing in the cecum and large intestine. Symp­toms can be confused with those of dysentery or enteritis.

Nodular Worms (Oesophagostomum sp.)

Found in the large intestine, these worms in­fect swine of all ages and cause digestive illness and inefficiency.

Stomach Worms (Hyostrongylus, Ascarops, and Physochephalus)

These three types of worms are very common in grazing micro pigs. Se­vere gastritis may occur as well as anemia, diarrhea, or weight loss. Swine of all ages can be infested by these worms, which cause in­flammation and irritation of the stomach.

Lungworms (Metastrongylus)

Found mostly in older micro pigs, this parasite migrates to lung tissues, causes bleeding, and allows de­velopment of pneumonia. The eggs are passed in the urine. This problem is usually found in subtropical and tropical areas in micro pigs raised outdoors.

Kidney Worm (Stephanurus dentatus)

Found in older micro pigs, this parasite damages liver, ureters, and the kidney.

Isospora suis

Can be found in young micro pigs, age six days to three weeks. It is a form of coccidiosis. Micro piglets will be stunted. Thorough cleaning of facilities and fecal removal is im­perative.