balding sow

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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: Dorset

balding sow

Post by newbie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:21 pm

Our sow had her first litter in July and was fit and well.
Over the winter we kept her and her sister in a spacious breeze block shed with an outdoor run so they could keep out of the worst of the weather and to give the grass a rest too !
Even though they had plenty of space they always cuddled up against the breeze block wall. She went a little bald, and we assumed that she had rubbed some of her hair off against the wall.
She has spent the last 2 months back out in the field in the ark, with her sister and still has bald patches. Interestingly it seems to only affect the black hairs and skin on her back and flanks, not the white hairs. She is not bothered or scratching, and her sister is fine. They have both been wormed. We have oiled her skin with pig oil, but I wonder if there could be a reason for the bald patches ? Any ideas ?!

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Re: balding sow

Post by simon » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:29 pm

It sounds like you've ruled out skin conditions.
kunekunes lose their hair from time to time. Its nothing to worry about and it will grow back, it just takes time. The cause is a bit of a mystery.

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Location: Somerset

Re: balding sow

Post by Carol » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:19 pm

I have several pigs and just one of them, a castrate, loses his hair every winter. He also only loses the black hair and only down the centre of his back. I don't think it is anything to worry about.

Dave P
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Location: North Somerset

Re: balding sow

Post by Dave P » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:02 pm

I was going to pose this question but thought i'd check previous topics first.
I have two three year old girls & a wether boy, all are from the same litter & in very good health. Except; the two girls loose their hair every winter. As discribed in the previous post, it occurs in a uniform patch down the middle of their backs. The vet has ruled out skin problems & parasites & is at a loss to explain the problem.

My smallholding has a footpath running along side it & passing hikers are being very rude to my poor piggies :wink: . Pointing & name calling. laughing & jeering, I'm worried my poor Porcines will become emotionally scarred. :wink: :)

Is there anything I can do to prevent the hair loss?
Its as much as a poor piggie can bear, or is it bare :lol: :lol:
Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.

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Re: balding sow

Post by claire86 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Presuming there are no obvious skin lesions or abnormalities, my approach would be to rule out skin parasites or infections by way of skin scrapes, hair plucks, tape impressions, swabs etc. If these are clear, I would focus on systemic possibilities, however, in this case, two pigs are affected at the same time of year so for both of them to have a systemic problem eg. hormonal imbalance would be very unlikely. Diet is a possibility - does the diet change towards winter? They may be deficient in certain vitamins, though if the diet is uniform throughout the year, this would again, be an unlikely cause.
This hair loss certainly seems it is a fairly common problem in pigs and seems to be benign. A condition known as Seasonal Flank Alopecia has been documented in many mammals, namely dogs, but also in horses, where, as the days get shorter and the hours of darkness increase, they can lose hair in a symmetrical pattern from their flanks. In spring, it will start to regrow. The problem described does appear to be a variant of this disorder. Melatonin has been used as a treatment in dogs but I have never heard of it being used in pigs.

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Re: balding sow

Post by biddydog » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:30 pm

Not to underestimate the severity of your girls' image complex... but coincidently Dawn French on Desert Island Discs this week described her childhood pony as having a 'spring hair loss problem' (no maine or tail). Imagine the nasty gymkhana types about her little pony :cry: !! Very funny and well worth a listen. Just tell the girls there are those worse off then themselves.
No practical help at all I know!!

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