Why Deworm Show Pigs and Market Hogs?

Understanding the importance of pig wormer for protection against pig parasites

When it comes to protecting against pig worms, there can, understandably, be many questions. Find answers to pig care FAQs with this information provided by Merck Animal Health.

WHERE DO WORMS IN PIGS COME FROM? Worm eggs can be found in the dirt, on concrete and wood (even after power washing!), in the pig's hair, in trucks and trailers, even on the bottom of your boots. Anywhere there have been pigs, there will be worm eggs, and they can last for years in the environment. That is why it’s crucial for pigs to be regularly treated with a pig wormer.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PIGS HAVE WORMS? Worms mostly stay in the intestinal tract and are not visible. A notable exception to this is the large roundworm, which is an aggressive swimmer. If there is a large population of adult roundworms in the pig's intestine, they will spread out looking for more room. They can appear coming out of the pig's rear end or in a pig’s vomit.  Because the large roundworm can grow more than 12 inches in length, they are hard to miss. Wormy pigs will have poor muscle development and a rough hair coat.

HOW DO I PREVENT MY PIG FROM GETTING WORMS? It is nearly impossible to remove the worm eggs from the environment, therefore the pigs must be regularly treated through pig deworming, with trusted products like Safeguard Swine, which offers a palatable taste for pigs. Safeguard offers treatment and control of lungworms, kidney worms, large roundworms, nodular worms, small stomach worms and whipworms.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD PIGS BE TREATED? Show pigs and market hogs are usually treated monthly because they are continuously exposed to worm eggs from the environment.

CAN PIG PARASITES HAVE AN AFFECT ON MY ANIMAL’S GROWTH RATE? Heavy roundworm infections can decrease average daily gain by up to 9%. This means that if you expect your pigs to gain 13 pounds a week, he will only gain 12 pounds a week.

CAN PARASITE BURDEN IMPACT MY FEED BILL? Are you feeding pigs or parasites? If your pigs are not regularly dewormed, you could be feeding both! The heavier the roundworm infection, the more feed a pig will consume, by up to 15% increased feed conversion. Feed conversion is defined as the pounds of feed required for the pig to gain a pound of body weight. This means that if you expect to purchase 500 pounds of pig feed to grow up your pig, you will end up purchasing 575 pounds of feed. Assuming $.50 per pound for feed, you will end up paying an extra $37.50 per pig.

CAN I JUST USE DEWORMER THAT IS FORMULATED FOR CATTLE OR HORSES? The dose of fenbendazole per pound of body weight is very different for pigs than for cows and horses. Unlike cows and horses, which can be dewormed with one-day treatment, pigs need to be treated over a time period of at least three days. For this reason, it is much more effective to treat pigs by using a product specially formulated for swine with the correct levels of fenbendazole already included. Following the label directions will ensure that you properly dose your pigs.

To summarize, here are six key reasons your pig will benefit from a quality deworming treatment.

  • Worms make your pig look rough.  Parasite infections cause rough hair coat and rob pigs of their "glow."
  • Worms decrease weight gain. Your pig may not make his weight class for the show.
  • Worms rob feed from your pig. Your feed cost will increase.
  • Worms can be embarrassing. Sometimes, large roundworms can exit the rear end of a pig during a show.
  • Worms can cause bloody diarrhea. You will need to call a vet or, if left untreated, your pig could die.
  • Worms can cause coughing. You will not be able to treat verminous pneumonia with antibiotic injections.
  • Help ensure healthy pigs with pig care products available with quick shipping and safe handling from veterinarian-founded, veterinarian-owned, Valley Vet Supply. Shop pig vaccines, show pig essentials and much more.

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