Does fine dust contribute to the death of piglets from pneumonia?

Asked September 25, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

I have lost about half of my piglets to pneumonia (per my vet). Some have had the "thumps" first, but some are just found dead. This is from three letters. Antibiotics did not help. The vet says it must be a resistant strain. I have read, however, that excessive dust will cause pneumonia. I have 10 chickens in the 40x20 foot pen. Although they all go out to pasture during the day, I have noticed that the chickens turn the straw into very fine dust with their scratching. So now I am trying the strategy of cleaning any loose material out of the pen at least twice a week.
Do you think the fine dust is the problem, and will keeping the pen clear of it work to reduce deaths?

Wyandot County Ohio

1 Response

A clean environment will always help. If it is dusty for you, it is dusty for the pig. The dust could impact lung capacity in young pigs and could help increase the symptoms caused by mycoplasmal pneumonia which may be what you are experiencing.

More info is needed to really give any more thoughts on this.
The following would be the information I would like to know to consider the big picture.

  • How old are the pigs when developing symptoms?
  • When thumping, do they paddle on their sides?
  • What antibiotics have you tried?
  • Does the sow seem healthy? I am assuming no scours have been experienced.
  • Do you provide supplemental heat?
Let me know, and I will be glad to continue this discussion.