Salt poisoning in pigsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I think my son's two pigs have salt poisoning. They haven't had water for two days (long story - big mistake). We have been feeding water every few hours, and one pig has recovered. The other one is shaky on it's feet, throws up occasionally, is disoriented and has to be force watered. We are using a turkey baster and squirting the water down it's throat. Also, it will drink a little if we put it's snout in it's water dish. Is there anything else we can do? Are these the symptoms of salt poisoning? (i.e. no water combined with the salt and minerals in their feed is too much salt in the diet). Could it be something else? Thanks Mary
-- Mary Fraley (email@example.com), March 19, 2001
I doubt it is salt poisoning. From Esminger's Swine Science:
The Indians and the pioneers of this country handed down many legendary stories about huge numbers of wild animals that killed themselves simply by gorging at a newly found salt lick after having been salt starved for long periods of time. However, such salt- starved conditions seldom prevail among domestic animals; and, some opinions to the contrary, salt poisoning is relatively rare in swine.
If hogs have not previously been fed salt for a very long time, they should first be hand-fed salt, and the daily allowance should be increased gradually until they start leaving a little in the mineral box. When the latter point is reached, self-feeding may be followed.
Hogs will not normally eat sufficient salt to be harmful. Exceptions have been reported where brine (as from cured meats) and wet salt have killed hogs, and where large amounts of salt or brine have been mixed in a slop.
Esminger in The Stockman's Handbook gives the following salt poisoning symptoms:
Sudden onset - 1-2 hours after ingesting salt; extreme nervousness; muscle twitching and fine tremors; much weaving, wobbling, staggering and circuling; blindness; weakness; normal temperature, rapid by weak pulse and very rapid and shallow breathing; diarrhea; death from a few hours up to 48 hours. Convulsions seldom occur, except in pigs.
Treatment: Provide large quantities of fresh water to affected animals. Those that can and do drink selcom need additional treatment. Those unable to drink should be given water via stomach tube, by the veterinarian. The vet may also give (I.S. or intrapenitoneally) calcium gluconate to severely affected animals.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2001.
Ken, thanks for answering. I was under the impression that if a pig ate feed that had added minerals, and didn't get water, it could easily get salt poisoning. The symptoms look the same as you listed, anyway. We'll keep giving water, as I don't know what else to do. The one who is sick is not getting any better. I might try antibiotic, just in case. Mary
-- Mary Fraley (email@example.com), March 19, 2001.
I was always told that a hog should never be fed salt, and this due to the fact that a hog does not sweat, like a horse, or other animals that have sweat glans, which a hog does not have, that is the reason that you see hogs lying around in mud wallows, they are doing this to cool themselves down, I suggest that you get you sick hog to a mud wallow as soon as possible, and keep him there, and keep plenty of water to him, you may also want to try and feed him spoiled can fruit if you have any as the acid will help to get the salt out of his system. Hope that he get ok.
-- Paul Allen Funk (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2001.
Paul is right ~ swine should never be fed salt other than the bit of it that's in their commercial feed. They can't sweat it out. Folks who feed pigs their table scraps should also take care what they give to their pigs.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), March 20, 2001.
We haven't given them any salt. We just give them feed from the local mill, and scraps. I'm assuming that without water the minerals in the feed would give them salt poisoning. I've begun antibiotics just in case it's something else. Mary
-- Mary Fraley (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2001.
It certainly sounds like sodium toxicity. The situation and sympyoms are correct.
I lost a pot belly to it, found him in seizure. His sodium level was 4x normal. Turns out he had torn open a bag of horse mineral which has a lot of molassas to entice him. We tried IV fluids, but he didn't make it. I would be careful with the turkey baster, If you get water in his lungs then asperation pneumonia can develop.
Good Luck Dianne
-- Dianne (email@example.com), March 22, 2001.