Pot-belly-pigA common complaint with pet pigs is of pruritis (itching) and dry, flaky skin. This combined with hair loss along the sides of the body is usually signs of sarcoptic mange (a skin disease caused by infection with the Sarcoptes scabiei mite) which is easily treated with Ivermectin.

In the case of demodectic mange, crusts are seen around the facial area and may need 3-4 treatments with Ivermectin at 2 weekly intervals. The causative agent, Demodex phylloides, lives in hair follicles and produces a mild to moderately severe dermatitis over the snout, inside the thighs, and over the flanks.

This treatment is also effective against parasitic worms such as large roundworms which in commercial pigs cause “milk-spot” liver.

Young pigs may be affected by “greasy pig disease”, a Staphylococcus hyicus pathogen that typically causes exudative epidermitis in pigs. Lesions generally start on the face and progress over the body. In the acute form, affected pigs are covered by an odoriferous, moist, greasy exudate comprised of sebum and bacteria. This can be treated with systemic antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian as well as a disinfectant wash such as chlorhexidine.

Some pigs may have naturally dry and flaky skin or as a result of sun exposure. A dietary supplement of fatty acids and zinc may be beneficial.