Atlas of pathology
Where: skin and subcutaneous tissue, musculoskeletal system
This is a case of gangrene resulting from frostbite in extreme weather conditions. The pig's other limbs were less severely affected and it was the only pig seen like this within the farrowing group of 11 litters.
Ergotism as a result of contamination of either feed or bedding with Claviceps purpurea fungi can lead to similar lesions but would be expected to be more widespread affecting other piglets and other tissues such as ears and tails. Milking in the sow would be expected to be compromised.
A single limb affected could be due to constricting bands getting wound round the leg; canabalism by litter mates is unlikely to produce a dry lesion of this nature unless extremely advanced and then recovering.
Clearly in this case immediate euthanasia on welfaregrounds is necessary.