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Old 11th March 2008, 07:13 PM   #1
Castle Peak
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Lice on pigs

Colin has visitors

I can only see the little creamy white eggs, not the adults.

But he's scratching like mad, up against anything he can find.

What can I treat them/him with please?

(I've searched but can only find stuff on guinea pigs )
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Old 11th March 2008, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: Lice on pigs

I give Wilbur an injectible from the vet, which I think is ivermectin (how embarrassing, I can't remember).

He got one in March last year when I got him, another a few months ago when I noticed he was scratching. My vet said every six months or so is about right.

Blimmin' heck, now I've got an itchy head
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Old 11th March 2008, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: Lice on pigs

He will have lice. If you only have the one pig ask your vet to draw off sufficient injectable Ivomec for one pig - 1ml per 33kg.

This is a broad sprectrum drench that will deal with mange mites, lice and worms so you may not want to give it every 6 months unless there is a reason to do so.

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Old 11th March 2008, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Lice on pigs

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Originally Posted by Ronney View Post
This is a broad sprectrum drench that will deal with mange mites, lice and worms so you may not want to give it every 6 months unless there is a reason to do so.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Ronnie, how would you know if a pig had worms? Is it the same as for other animals - anaemia (although how do you tell on a pig?) and/or diarrhoea? Or is it something else?

For example, Wilbur looks in fine fettle to me, I've got a little bit of weight off him (he now has a slight "waist") and is loving his new 3 acre paddock with the goats - chicory of course But how would I tell if he wasn't well?
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Old 11th March 2008, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: Lice on pigs

PG, if a pig has worms they go downhill very rapidly and show much the same signs as any other animal. They show the same anaemia in the mouth and eyes (if your game enough to go playing with either) and yes, can have diarrhoea. They are always hungry and can become irritable and bad tempered. Because they are in a poor state other parasites will prey on them and often Sarcoptic Mange can be seen - however, Sacoptic Mange does not necessarily mean a wormy pig.

If your Wilbur is rotund and happy he hasn't got a worm problem. Even if he has worms, he is coping with them and that's okay. If he's an only pig his worm burden is unlikely to be very high.

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Old 11th March 2008, 09:59 PM   #6
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Re: Lice on pigs

Thank you Ronnie. Wilbur has clear eyes, seems very contented (unless the goats are trying to eat his rationed pig pellets), squeals for breakfast, grunts contentedly once he's munching and spends a lot of time sleeping in his shade area.

I've been quite suprised at his roaming though. The paddock he is in is about 150m long by about 80m wide and I've found him in the far corner a couple of times. Didn't really think he'd roam that far but he seems to like to follow the goats if it's not too hot.

I will be getting him a friend, but with finances a bit tight, that's something I'll be doing a bit later in the year I think.
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Old 11th March 2008, 10:41 PM   #7
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Re: Lice on pigs

If he was wormed recently, then lice powder would be enough, as long as Wilbur likes getting the stuff all over him. If he's a keeper, rather than a freezer pig, a worm injection won't do him any harm, if he hasn't been wormed in a long time.

What breed is Wilbur?
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Old 11th March 2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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Re: Lice on pigs

But Inger, it doesn't appear that Wilbur has lice or worms - Colin has the lice. Yes, Dunard could give Colin lice powder but an injection at this point is a good idea and then things can be dealt with as and when they arise.

Cheers,
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Old 11th March 2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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Talking Re: Lice on pigs

Hi dunard you should inject colin with ivomectin which you can get from your vet, you should do it sooner rather than later because the mites will make him scratch like mad which can easily become inflamed and infected, also you should make sure when handling or touching him that you thouroughly wash your hands or preferably wear gloves until he is clear as the mites are more often than not scabies with is highly infectious and easily passes to other animals including humans!! having picked up scabies before myself at work trust me you really dont wanna get it.!!!
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Old 12th March 2008, 08:07 AM   #10
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Re: Lice on pigs

Mike, these are pig lice not human lice and therefore will not pass on scabies to humans, only to other pigs. You will have picked up scabies at work through human-to-human contact.

It goes without saying that hands should be washed thoroughly after handling any animal or handling drenches, drugs, medications etc.

Cheers,
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Old 12th March 2008, 02:06 PM   #11
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Re: Lice on pigs

Lice and mites (eg, sarcoptes scabiei) are two different things.

Lice are very species specific so you will not get pig lice infecting other species or humans etc (they may itch you for a while but they won't set up home on you!) They can be seen with the naked eye.

Mites are microscopic. Sarcoptes scabiei (for example) which cause sarcoptic mange has subspecies for cattle, pigs etc which are not comepletely specieis specific, ie, the cattle strain can infect other species occasssionally. Humans can get infected by some of the mites subspecies if they have handled infected animals closely - but these infections don't last long and usually resolve quickly without treatment.
animals under poor management, poor feeding, in poor health or in crowded situations are much more susceptible to sarcoptic mange infections.

With regards to lice treatment - I'd be happy with the injectible Ivomec or Dectomax treatments. ALL pigs should be treated, and I usually recommend two treatments at 10 days apart to eradicate the lice that hatch from the eggs after the first treatment.
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Old 12th March 2008, 02:16 PM   #12
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Re: Lice on pigs

Now my pigs are really tame and love cuddles and scratches but i dunno that i'd be all that game to inject them. How is it usually done? do you have to restrain them or do you just do what i do with the goats and give them something yummy to eat and shove the needle in quick?
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Old 12th March 2008, 02:24 PM   #13
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Re: Lice on pigs

That's about it Devan. I had to do Wilbur's one by stealth. The trick (so I'm told) is to:

A) give them something yummy to eat, away from their usual feeding spot, and preferably something other than their usual pig feed (I used bread instead of his pellets)
B) don't speak, cos then they associate you with the pain
C) put it in the neck from behind and do it really quickly (I was too slow and Wilbur pulled away, so I only got about 3/4 of the ivermectin in, the rest dribbled down his neck)
D) Look out - Wilbur turned REALLY quickly!
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Old 12th March 2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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Re: Lice on pigs

Your right Cowvet and I should have mentioned that with lice in particular, another injection 10 days later is a good idea as there is often another hatching a couple of weeks down the track. In the past I've often given a second injection for Sarcoptic Mange too as in some older pigs it is reluctant to clear up. Coloured pigs don't seem to have the same problems with it.

What I was trying to get across though, was not to inject pigs for the sake of doing so for the same reasons as it's not a good idea to drench any other stock for the sake of doing so.

Devan, yes that's pretty much it Wait until dinner time then just quietly give it to them in that soft area behind the ear.

Cheers,
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Old 12th March 2008, 02:31 PM   #15
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Re: Lice on pigs

Sh*t isn't there a pour on or something?
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Old 12th March 2008, 03:32 PM   #16
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Re: Lice on pigs

Thanks for that cow vet, scabies in animals and humans are one and the same! (Definition: Sarcoptes scabiei from Online Medical Dictionary
Sarcoptes scabiei. Formerly Acarus scabiei, the itch mite, varieties of which are distributed worldwide and affect humans, horses, cattle, swine, sheep,.)
Dont mean to be a smart arse ronney, but you can easily pick up scabies from infected pigs.!!
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Old 12th March 2008, 04:16 PM   #17
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Re: Lice on pigs

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Thanks for that cow vet, scabies in animals and humans are one and the same! (Definition: Sarcoptes scabiei from Online Medical Dictionary
Sarcoptes scabiei. Formerly Acarus scabiei, the itch mite, varieties of which are distributed worldwide and affect humans, horses, cattle, swine, sheep,.)
Dont mean to be a smart arse ronney, but you can easily pick up scabies from infected pigs.!!

It's not so easy...i have treated many many mite infected animals over the years and have never picked them up myself...as i said in my earlier post and to quote your medical post..."they do not readily pass from one host to another of a different animal species; transitory infections of this type do occur, however, especially from various animals to humans, and are spread by direct contact"

they do not readily pass....and transitory infections are the key bits.

The scabies mites that infect animals are different subspecies of "Sarcoptes scabiei" than those that are common in humans - hence their difficulty/unusualness on being passed from animals to humans, and their inability to persist for very long if they do infect a human

http://www.advocate-spot-on.com/Mang...1.0.html#c2706
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Old 12th March 2008, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: Lice on pigs

Devan, it really isn't that hard so long as you don't make a to-do and a fuss about it. Talk to your vet though if you really want to because as I understand it, it can be used "off-label" as an oral which mean it goes on to their food. The dose rates will possibly be different and nobody will take responsibility if anything happens to your pig as a result. The problem I have with this is if you have more than one pig there is no guarantee that each pig is going to get the correct dose if they share their food - so for two reasons I prefer to use the injectable in the way it was designed to be used.

Cheers,
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Old 13th March 2008, 05:01 PM   #19
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Re: Lice on pigs

Thanks for the advice guys.

I'll get Ivomectin from the vet and give that a go. I am pretty fastidious about hand washing and stuff after touching Colin and the chooks, so thats a good reminder/reassurance to keep that up.

How would I know if he has worms then ?

I hadn't "posted and run" - my emails updates weren't working and I thought no one loved me lol!

Has anyone got any good sites/books I could read on pig keeping please? Colin (as I saw yesterday) is errmmm maturing and I want to make sure I'm looking after him correctly. I don't want to get known as the Townie

Although I suppose being called the Townie Pom might be worse....
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Old 13th March 2008, 05:02 PM   #20
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Re: Lice on pigs

Sorry I posted that twice in my excitement!
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Old 13th March 2008, 09:30 PM   #21
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Re: Lice on pigs

Dunard, go back to the beginning of the thread where I explain for PG some of the things to look for in a wormy pig. Add that to observation, experience and commonsense and you will soon recognise when your pig is not healthy.

Of all farm animals pigs probably feature among the most labour intensive but are not that hard to look after. Weatherproof housing is a must, provision of a wallow if that is feasible, plenty of shade for summer, and good food. Those are the basics.

How many pigs do you have and what do you intend doing with them? Are they free-ranging or penned? The Resources on this site (go to the very top of the page) has some very good information and there are a couple of long-term pig owners/breeders here that will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Cheers,
Ronnie
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Old 14th March 2008, 07:38 AM   #22
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Re: Lice on pigs

Thanks Ronney, I'd missed your reply, sorry.

Colin is an only pig, he has a grassy paddock i.e. he's not penned. He's got a dry wooden solid house with straw, shade from the tall flax and poplar, obviously fresh water, grass and food too

When I got him I was advised not to let him wallow, but yesterday he was trying to knock over his water pot and lay in it, so I hosed a wet patch for him. I saw the adult lice for the first time

He really enjoyed munching on the cherry tree prunings yesterday, a bit late but is there anything he shouldn't eat?

Colin will be wearing a cold white overcoat, around xmas time this year.

I'll look at the resources on here, I always miss them too as I seem to log straight on the forum.

Thanks again!
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Old 14th March 2008, 10:19 PM   #23
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Re: Lice on pigs

For the life of me I cannot understand why anybody would have told you not to let him wallow. Certainly they can create a mess in the doing so but if the pig is in an area set aside for pigs, it doesn't matter - does it?

Pigs are extremely susceptible to heat and cold so for a free ranging pig outside of a temperature controlled environment, keeping cool and keeping warm are very important. Pigs cannot sweat and a wallow can be vitally important in helping them keep their body heat at the correct level which is why he was trying to knock his water over yesterday. Get a spade and dig out a shallow hole for him. It may not hold water but it will be cool and muddy and he will be as happy as a sandboy.

Wallows also have a secondary benefit in suppressing lice. The pig likes to cover itself with mud and water which goes quite a long way to "suffocating" the lice. My pigs have a huge wallow that we accidentally dug for them (that's another story). It is deep enough that they can completely submerge themselves in it and at the height of summer all I get to see of them is the middle of the day is bubbles. They come out for dinner streaming water and filthy but I rarely find lice on them.

Keep him well fed, housed, watered and wallowed and your Christmas ham should melt in your mouth.

Cheers,
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Old 15th March 2008, 08:14 AM   #24
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Re: Lice on pigs

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Originally Posted by Ronney View Post
For the life of me I cannot understand why anybody would have told you not to let him wallow. Certainly they can create a mess in the doing so but if the pig is in an area set aside for pigs, it doesn't matter - does it?

Keep him well fed, housed, watered and wallowed and your Christmas ham should melt in your mouth.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Thanks Ronney

We didn't understand it either, I thought thats what pigs did...maybe he doesn't want his own paddocks messed up I'm certainly not fussed about mess, it's a paddock not the sitting room carpet after all.

So Colin will go to the wallow after all. If he's happy then the christmas ham will be a happy ham too.
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Old 15th March 2008, 08:51 AM   #25
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Re: Lice on pigs

Wilbur loves to wallow. Even though I have practically no water, I couldn't resist squirting Wilbur down the other morning while I was filling his wallow with water. The look of bliss on his face, and he even turned so I could get it on his behind, then rolled over to get his belly wet.

Such a joy to watch! The only problem I had was he made his first wallow right beside a gate, so as you walk in, you fall into it! I managed to persuade him to move it to nearer to the tap and he has seen the logic behind this
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