Info needed on swine mastoiditis-emergency


12 Years
Jan 27, 2007
southwestern Michigan
I got a call from my best friend Freebie this morning saying her husband's sow has come down with mastoiditis. She had given birth to a litter a few days ago. Denise was on her way to work and no one was available to post, so I offered. Her neighbor/vet is out of town. They are in the process of bottle feeding these babies. If anyone has any info on this it would be greatly appreciated. It is good she has family to help her feed. The outlook for mama doesn't look so good as I guess it went into an infection. I don't know much about mastoiditis in large animals. I am guessing from what Denise told me she most will likely come down with the same condition if she is bred in the future. I feel really bad for them as her husband Gary really enjoys and loves his pigs. This was his 3rd litter he has raised. It only goes to show you how self suffecient chickens are! I mean chicks can usually take care of themselves after hatching ie feeding wise. A cow or a goat there is only 2 at the most. What we are dealing with is bottle feeding 11 piglets! I am going out to her place to help. She has found someone that will take in 2 of the babies, leaving 9 but that is still alot a mouths to feed. They were told to feed them goats milk. Does anyone have any expeirence with mastoiditis in swine and bottle feeding piglets? Thank you for any info you may have for her.
They can call any large animal vet and tell them what the problem is and should be able to go pick up the shots needed to give her. They would just have to give the shots them selves. She definetly needs some antibiotics.

We raise any orphan piglets on a pan. It is alot easier than getting them to take a bottle. They learn very fast. Just take a low sided pan, like a pie plate or low edged cookie tray. Put the warm milk in the pan and take them cute little noses and put them in the milk. It will take a little work, but once they start to suck they will get some in and should take right off. All them piglets can eat at the same time. Alot less time consuming and much easier. We have great success with this method.

Good luck,
Thanks, Hotwings for posting. It is so true what mothergoose said. Someone wanted to take 4 of them, so they are gone. And even feeding them through the day today, 3 more of them dies. The remaining 5 are doing much better. Mama not so good. We put her down tonight. It seems it was more than mastoiditis. A baby was stuck and we did not know it till it was to late. It has been a very sad day for my husband. He really loved that sow. Thanks everyone. I have to go out now and check on the little ones.
I know nothing about pigs but went to the PIGSite (the swine version of The PoultrySite) and was unable to find any results for "mastoiditis" in their search engine which is very odd...I believe it must have another "name" as I was unable to find anything on it ... here is their online help engine/problem solver to help in the future:
Thanks dlhunicorn, but right now my husband is thinking he will not do this again. So once these piglets are raised and gone, I don't think we will have them again. (But he changes his mind alot, so who knows.) I know I am getting attached to the little buggers already, and I have only fed them 3 times.

We are going to try the rabbit waters that hang outside the cage and the little nipple thing hangs inside the cage. They get so wet with that pie tin of milk. I just don't like them getting chilled. We have two heat lamps for just 5 babies and they all huddle under them when they are done eating. Then when I go back out about an hour later they are dry and spread out a bit. But if these waters work, They won't be getting all wet anymore and their bedding will stay dry too. It will sure make it alot easier. Wish me luck.
the following is perhaps helpful (in general): basics.html

... I remember visiting my great-Aunt when I was very young... they had a farm (nothing fancy) and she had a pet hog...HOUSE TRAINED no less. He was lovely and I remembered when he died they gave him a funeral and the entire village turned out to comfort my Aunt. She loved that hog... so watch out!
The best thing for mastitis is penicillin and let the pigs nurse. It is not different in pigs than it is in humans. If he has bigger pigs to put on the sow that would be the best. If not, just leave her pigs on treat her with penicillin for 10 days. I have dealt with thousands of sows and this has always been the best course of action. Good luck!
Denise I am so so sorry about Mama Pig-I know how Gary feels about his pigs. We all have our favorite animals-you with your chickens and dogs and etc. I have a suggestion that I will ask later. I feel it is oppropirate(sp?) to ask advise on animals other than chickens. Believe me there is a wealth of advise out here on BYC and since a majority live on farms they have all sorts of livestock. I believe the people here know more about treating poultry than any vet! Thanks Speckle Hen for speaking up-you are a saint lol.

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