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pig died, no sign of illness

 
S Haze
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Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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Does anyone know of a good you-tube video or anything thoroughly cover what to look for when doing a necropsy on a pig?

I just had one, about a forty-five pounder suddenly die after looking just fine this morning. It was the runt of the litter so maybe it had some underlaying condition that caused it's demise. I cut it open and found a stomach full of feed and what looked like beautiful healthy internal organs to my un-trained eyes. No apparent problems in the digestive tract and the outside of the pig looked fine as well. After checking it out I feel fairly confident that it's death was rather sudden and probably not any fault of my own. Since I'm new to raising pigs it would be nice to have a good idea of the cause of death.
 
Dave Burton
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Here is a video from YouTube going over pig anatomy and post mortem:

Here is an article discussing necropsy techniques and another guide for basic safety and procedures.
Here is a database for looking up porcine problems.
 
norm graham
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Technology vs Experience.....look for someone with more experience.
Trying to apply technology, often just ends up with the results laughing at us (and I'm an engineer, lol).
Experience wins over technology when it comes to farming.
(I bought two sick cows, and they got better, but eventually one died suddenly! My best reference was a woman with years of experience.).
Pigs/cows, cannot really tell you when they are sick. Thus, by the time you realize they are sick, they might be on the way out.

 
S Haze
Posts: 227
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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Good advice,

I did talk to an experienced hog farmer and he thought it could be from a twisted intestine but cautioned that an examination by a vet would be best to confirm this.

Thanks for the links and video above too, I did find the same video on my own earlier and it seemed the best after a short search. Just wish it went into greater detail, but what was included was very clear and easy to understand.

I saved the heart because I think it looks sort of funny and maybe I'll take it into the vet tomorrow. There seems to be extra "lobes" on the top of it and maybe some sort of growth where one of the valves is. It's probably fine though and I just don't know what it's supposed to look like.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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The first sign of a sick animal is usually not eating. To eat that morning and then die suggests a physical problem like the heart.
 
S Haze
Posts: 227
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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I took the heart to the vet, he looked at it for about one second and said it's vegetative endocarditis usually caused by eysipelas. There was an abnormality on one of the valves.

After a quick search I'm not entirely convinced that it's erysipelas but it's probably possible since one site,

http://vetmed.iastate.edu/vdpam/new-vdpam-employees/food-supply-veterinary-medicine/swine/swine-diseases/erysipelas

said "Interestingly, outbreaks of vegetative endocarditis can occur in the absence of other clinical signs."

At least now I know what to watch out for if the other four pigs show symptoms of infection. They're rotated through lushly vegetated paddocks every few or so and have what I think is a good mineral supplement in their feed from mid-western bio-ag, so I don't expect any further problems especially since the pig that died was a runt anyway. It could have been affected by something months ago.

I appreciate the feedback I've gotten here and look forward to any more advice now that I've received the vet's diagnosis.
 
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