Possible Selenium deficiency??
June 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm #16674Member: NH
grazing on graniteParticipant
We have a 6 1/2 month barrow who was salivating and sleeping a lot and appeared “off” yesterday. This morning he was presenting with obvious balance issues with being off balance and falling to his right side, head tilted. He is also now off his food but is drinking. Having raised meat goats (Boers), selenium deficiency is a huge concern in the new england due to it being deficient in most soils here. I see little on the web concerning selenium deficiency in hogs, however I have seen multiple postings from farms who suddenly and inexplicably have a dead hog on their hands who was healthy the day before. HOwever I do not see any references to Mulberry heart disease (MHD) (also called a myopathy)- A specific disease of heart muscle and a common cause of sudden death and related to selenium deficiency.
Has anyone tried treating a hog with symptoms with selenium orally and had results? If so, how quickly did the pig show improvement? Also what was the dosage for emergency treatment? I am able to find a daily selenium dosage for maintenance but not for an emergency boost of the mineral. Or is it simply too late and thus I should get him to the butcher!???
Any feedback would be appreciated!
penny, New HampshireJuly 1, 2012 at 9:18 am #18013Member: MO
No answers from me I’m afraid. So sorry you are going through this. Do you have a good local vet that could run some tests or give you some advice.
We did experience SD with goats when we lived in WV but I don’t remember if they salivated or not.
How is he doing today?
Hope you get some answers soon.
MissouriJuly 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm #18014Member: NH
grazing on graniteParticipant
Hi Liz, He is still alive and is back on his feed. I have been diligent about giving him his personal gallon of fresh cold water with either molasses or electrolytes in it – which is adores and consumes rapidly. I also started him on agri-cillan (penicillin). I did give him a tiny dose of selenium/vit E on day one. He had a temp of 103 on day 2. I did not check it yesterday. My little girl covers him with a damp towel to try to keep in him cool on the hot days. Also, I think I was incorrect about the salivating as it is not consistent and it seems more like the salivating that is normal when eating. At this point I am thinking middle ear infection, but that is a guess. Unfortunately we do not have a large animal vet locally and we no longer have real farmers in this area – just tourists! If you have any suggestions as a better medication for an ear infection, please let me know! He balance is still quite off, always to one side and he continues to tilt his head.
thank you, pennyJuly 4, 2012 at 2:08 am #18015Member: TX
An inner ear infection…could definitely be. My vet book says to look into his ear canal and see if it is red/swollen. Says you’ll get a “reaction” from the animal if you tug on it’s ear, or gently push on the outside of the ear where the canal is located. By “reaction”, I’m guessing he’s saying, “watch out that he doesn’t rip your hand off!”. There is an antibiotic out there for pigs that one single dose lasts for 3-5 days. My vet is out of town on vacation, so I can’t get the name, but it is readily available. The bottle says specifically that it has to be administered by a vet, but if yours is like mine, he doesn’t particularly care for pigs, so he just gives me the shot to administer.
That’s my two-cents worth.
RossJuly 4, 2012 at 7:21 am #18016Member: MO
Good to know he is still alive. If it is an ear infection then you are going to have to find a vet somewhere to help you. We have never had a pig with an inner ear infection but did have one once that had an infection in the outer ear canal. He came to us with it & I can’t remember the name but it was some nasty bacterial infection that needed aggressive treatment.
Just a note on salivating & I am not trying to insult your intelligence here but have NO idea if you have ever had male pigs before. Boars will salivate, creating a white froth, if there are any other boars near by. This is how they create pheromones to “attract” the girls & it stinks. They chomp their teeth together to create this froth. They will also do it sometimes when the girls are in heat. I’m guessing that no matter how sick he feels if girls or other boars are around he is still going to try & prove that he is “the man!” If you already knew all this then apologies but maybe it will help someone else who is reading this & has never seen their boar do this yet. As we have most of the lines available here in the USA here on the farm we run several boars. When one of the girls is in heat the air is filled with boar “perfume :)” no matter if that boar is not even in with her.
Let us know how things progress.