injured 4 day old piglet

Asked May 4, 2013, 6:56 AM EDT

I'm a new pig farmer and one of my workers just brought a four day old piglet to me with a laceration under the left front leg, through which its kidney was protruding. I flushed the wound with salt water, pushed the kidney back, packed it with an iodine ointment, applied a dressing and taped around the body. I then gave it a tetramycine injection and put it back with the mother. My question is, should it be placed back with the mother, should I nurse it, which I'm willing to do, or would it be kinder to euthanase? I hope you can help, I really don't want it to suffer. Kind Regards Chris de Beer

Outside United States swine swine health veterinary

3 Responses

That's about all you can do. I would recommend a longer course of antibiotic treatment if the pig is still alive. Check the label directions on the length of treatment for the particular antibiotic you are using. The kidney is attached to connective tissue on the dorsal area (near the spine) on mammals and has a full compliment of arteries and ducts that are connected to it. I doubt a kidney could come out of an opening on the animals ventral side without being completely detached from something important and vital. Hope it recovers but this sounds like a very serious injury.

Hi, thanks so much for the info. I don't know why I wrote kidney, it was actually a lung, sorry. As I said we placed it back with the sow, but with that injury I think it was too weak and ended up getting trampled. For future reference, is it feasible to treat and not to place a piglet back with the sow after an injury? I'm thinking that its chances of survival may be higher if I do this?

I would not have expected the pig to have survived this serious injury whether you put it back with the sow or not. But, in the future anything beyond a simple cut or bruise would probably warrant the pig going to a nursery for a higher level of care. And i would inspect the area where the litter is now. That sounds like a pretty serious cut and it had to have been caused by a sharp metal or glass object, something capable of cutting through the muscle and tissue to expose the internal organs. I would hate for you to lose any more in this manner.