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Peritonitis

Background and history

Peritonitis describes infection and inflammation of the peritoneum, the shiny membrane that covers all the internal surfaces in the abdomen. It can be caused by a ruptured gastric ulcer, a perforated bowel, penetration of the abdomen via mating, a sequel to external trauma to the abdomen and a ruptured bowel or liver.

Diseases such as actinobacillus pleuropneumonia, migrating ascarid worms, miscellaneous generalised infections may also result in peritonitis.

Clinical signs

The onset may be sudden or gradual. Signs are associated with abdominal pain. The sow is reluctant to move, loses weight and has a tucked up appearance. The mucous membranes are often pale. The most common time is 7-10 days post mating after damage by the boar at mating. A discharge from the vulva may then be apparent. The temperature may be normal or elevated and appetite normal or depressed.

Sows

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Appetite normal or depressed.
  • The sow is reluctant to move.
  • Loses weight.
  • Has a tucked up appearance.
  • A discharge from the vulva may be apparent at mating.
  • The temperature may be normal or elevated.

Weaners and growers

  • Coughing (App)
  • Loss of condition and growth.
  • Pale.

Piglets

  • Swollen abdomen.
  • Wasting.
  • Death.

Diagnosis

This is based on the clinical signs and history. A post-mortem examination may be required to confirm the diagnosis when females die or are destroyed.

Causes

  • Ruptured gastric ulcer.
  • Perforated bowel.
  • Penetration of the abdomen via mating.
  • External trauma to the abdomen and ruptured bowel or liver.
  • Conditions such as actinobacillus pleuropneumonia, gl?ssers disease, migrating ascarid worms and miscellaneous generalised infections may also result in peritonitis.

Treatment

  • This is by broad spectrum antibiotic treatments for 5 to 7 days. Inject with either OTC, penicillin, streptomycin or amoxycillin.
  • The response is usually poor.