What to Do in Case of Fever
By Cathy Zolicani on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:08pm
Fevers result when a pig has an infection (viral, bacterial), an inflammation (allergies, malignant hyperthermia), or an intoxication (ingestion of some toxins, bites from some snakes or bugs). Often, the fever has a purpose in the body – most bacteria or viruses can only live in a narrow temperature range, so the body, as a defense, raises the temperature to try to wipe out the invading infection. So, fevers can be a good thing.
If your pig has a temperature above 104, it should be seen by your veterinarian right away.
If your pig has a temperature of 103-104 for more than 72 hours, it should be seen by your veterinarian.
- Increase fluid intake – mix ¼ prune, apple, or cranberry juice with ¾ water.
- Offer Gatorade, mixed ½ Gatorade with ½ water. Offer ice cubes or popsicles.
- Environmental cooling – have icepacks wrapped in small towels in bed for the pig to lay on if it wants to. Put rubbing alcohol on its feet for evaporative cooling. Use cool, but not cold cloths on head, neck and abdomen. Avoid bathing your pig at this time.
- NO ASPIRIN– some conditions that cause fever, such as erysipelas, cause a disruption in blood clotting in the body. Aspirin makes this worse.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) 5 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours for no more than 3 days. If fever persists past 3 days, see veterinarian. Always give with a small meal/food.
FEVER IN VERY YOUNG PIGS CAN BE VERY SERIOUS – IT CAN INDICATE PNEUMONIA, WHICH CAN BE FATAL IN A VERY SHORT TIME. YOUNG PIGS (UNDER 5 MONTHS) WITH FEVER SHOULD SEE A VETERINARIAN RIGHT AWAY.