Salt poisoning

Salt poisoning is common, it is related with the unavailability of water, and it affects the central nervous system.

Alternative names: Water deprivation


Salt poisoning is common in pigs of all ages and it is related to the unavailability of water; normal levels of salt in the diet (0.4-0.5%) become toxic in the absence of water.

Verify that every drinker and water distribution system is working properly, is not obstructed, and water is available, should be done on a daily basis.



All ages

  • Initial stages of the disease are preceded by loss of appetite. When a pig or groups of pigs do not eat, we must first check water sources. Symptoms appear in 3 to 4 days.
  • The first symptoms are often pigs trying to drink water from water nipples unsuccessfully.
  • Animals show nervous symptoms and in more advanced cases it may include attacks, animals walking aimlessly and appear to be blind, with tremors and lack of coordination.
  • Pig walks upto a wall, stops next to it and presses its heads against it.
  • A very typical sign of salt intoxication is the dog sitting position and shaking of the nose just before the seizures start.
  • Mortality is often high.


Causes / Contributing Factors

  • Lack of water / deprivation.
  • Excess salt in the diet.



  • It is based on clinical signs and lack of water. Histological examination of the brain at autopsy confirms the disease.



  • Treatment is not very effective but attempts can be made to rehydrate the animal try to give water droplets, very slowly into the pig's mouth using a hose.
  • Corticosteroids may help.