Pigs are one of many species of animal that can be afflicted with mange mites. These tiny parasitic invaders will be familiar to many because of household pets such as cats, dogs, and guinea pigs that have suffered from similar infestations. It can be a very itchy condition that results in skin damage and discomfort. Treatment for mange mites in pigs involves the drug Ivermectin. Preventative steps include cleansing the environment of the pig and isolating healthy pigs from animals and areas thought to be infested.
There are various different species that can cause different types of mange in the various affected species of animal. In the case of the pigs the particular species of mange mites that are most likely to cause the problem are Sarcoptes scabiei, which causes sarcoptic mange, or scabies, and Demodex phylloides, which cause demodectic mange. Transmission occurs when a healthy animal encounters an infested one or an area where the mites have been shaken off an infested animal.
There are a number of symptoms to watch out for in diagnosing mange mites in a pig. Most clearly the pig will be showing signs of discomfort and will be rubbing at the affected area and shaking its ears. This will cause visible damage to the skin of the animal and it may bleed and become scabby. A younger animal is likely to have its growth stunted if infested by mange mites. Fortunately the mange mites will most likely die out after a few days under reasonable farm conditions.
However, if a herd is infested by the parasites then it will most likely remain endemic unless some steps are taken to eradicate it. Typically this will involve cleansing the area and providing the pigs with a general anti-parasitic drug such as Ivermectin, which will also kill off other parasites such as fleas. Another drug that is available to tackle mange mites is called Selamectin.
There are also a number of preventative steps that can be taken to help stop pigs from being infested or reinfested after the condition has been cleared. Any new area that the pigs are introduced to should be cleansed thoroughly. If a new pig is to be introduced into the herd then it should be kept in quarantine to begin with to make sure that it is free from this, and perhaps other conditions. Any pig that is thought to have the condition should certainly be kept away from other animals until they are free from it.