Greasy pig disease

These information sheets are provided for your interest. They should not replace veterinary advice from your veterinary surgeon.

Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, your specific circumstances must be discussed before advice can be given.

Greasy pig disease is an infection of the skin with Staphylococcus hyicus following abrasion of the skin. It is a sudden onset exudative epidermatitis seen in young piglets from 1-5 weeks of age. The lesions are non-pruritic (itchy) and rapidly progress from scale to scabs with a greasy texture from the overproduction of sebum. Dehydration from the loss of water in sebum is the major cause of loss of life, which can occur in 90% of cases if untreated. Antibiotics can be given systemically - laboratory culture and sensitivity is recommended since resistance can occur. Individuals should be bathed with dilute chlorhexidine and assessed for dehydration. Piglets teeth should be clipped to reduce skin damage on farms where greasy pig disease is a problem. Increased cleansing and disinfection should be encouraged.