This is a condition in which the newborn piglet is unable to maintain its legs together.
Alternative names: abduction of the legs syndrome, splayed legs disease
This is a condition in which the newborn piglet is unable to keep its hind limbs (and, occasionally, his front limbs) together; it affects up to 2% of piglets. Their mobility is limited which makes it difficult for them to have access to a nipple.
- Not present.
- The piglets are not able to stand and hind limbs are deflected laterally, therefore they often adopt a dog sitting position.
- They typically die from starvation or crushing as the piglet can not depart from the sow.
- Not viable pigs.
Nursery and fattening stage
- Not present.
Causes / Contributing Factors
- It is more common in the Landrace breed and in males.
- The disease is caused by the immaturity of muscle fibers of the hindquarters, around the pelvis and occasionally the forelimbs.
- This condition worsens when the pig is standing on very soft, wet and slippery floors.
- It is based on clinical signs.
- As soon as the affected piglets are identified, put a dressing on hind legs joints with a tape of 25 mm wide, leaving a gap of 50-80 mm. The same procedure applies to the forelimbs. The tape must be passed around the leg, just above the supernumerary finger. Do not use string as it will strangle the legs.
- Hold the piglet by its hind legs and perform a vigorous massage on the muscles around the pelvis and on the front and back of the hind legs. Repeat this 3 or 4 times during the first day.
- Assist the piglet to be able to drink milk regularly.
- Give the pig about 10 ml colostrum immediately after birth.
- Confine the strongest and mobile piglets in a warm area for an hour to allow splay leg piglets have access to the nipples.