my three week old piglet is shivering and not playful

Asked December 5, 2012, 9:35 AM EST

any suggestions?

Berks County Pennsylvania swine

1 Response

It is very difficult to pinpoint the cause of shivering from a remote location. I can come up with three general causes of the shivering, which you can consider. 1) Pigs will shiver when they are cold to help generate heat for their bodies. I imagine you have thought of this and made sure the animal is in a dry warm environment. Recommended temperature settings for piglets are often higher than many people realize. Here is a link to a publication (pdf) that has some recommendations on environment for pigs of different weights. The sluggishness you note could result if the piglet is devoting much of its energy to combat cold. I imagine this pig may have just been weaned and moved to a new environment, both of which can present additional energy-draining stresses to the body. http://www.ipic.iastate.edu/publications/210.EnvironmentalPigNeeds.pdf 2) The shivering could indicate a disease situation. This is noted several paragraphs down on this link at the Pig Site. If you feel this is the case then you should contact a large animal vet for further diagnosis. http://www.thepigsite.com/pighealth/article/45/recognising-disease-on-the-farm 3) The piglet could be a carrier of Porcine Stress Syndrome (PSS). This genetic condition is explained at the Pig Site as well as the eXtension site. Shaking is often a sign of PSS and the symptom is often triggered during stressful periods such as weaning or relocation. http://www.thepigsite.com/pighealth/article/203/porcine-stress-syndrome-pss http://www.extension.org/pages/27323/the-porcine-stress-gene:-what-the-show-pig-industry-needs-to-know I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you with to discuss this further. Thank you.