Hog Cholera or Classical Swine Fever: A Threat to Piggery Industry


Hog cholera is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease of pig caused by pestivirus under Flaviviridae family. The disease is one of the biggest threats to pig industry.

Why the disease is important to piggery industry?

The disease causes serious economic losses due to very high morbidity and mortality  (upto 100 percent) in all age groups of pigs. The disease is characterized by sudden onset, rapid transmission, generalized diseased  (lack of appetite, fever, depression, reluctance to get up or to eat,  diarrhoea, paralysis) including still birth, abortion, mummification etc.

Which animals are infected?

All species of pigs including domestic pigs, wild pigs, pygmy hog are affected with the disease.The disease does not transmitted to human

How the disease transmission occurs?

  • Direct contact with infected pigs.
  • Contaminated feed and water.
  • Feeding raw feed and uncooked meat from infected pigs.
  • Urine, nasal and ocular discharges from the infected pigs.
  • Contaminated Clothing, footwear, vehicles and workers of the farm.
  • From recovered pigs which may act as a carrier.

What are the common symptoms of the disease?

  • In acute cases, death within 24hrs upto 100 percent mortality.
  • High fever upto 420C (1070F).
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diarrhoea, depression.
  • Coughing and difficulty in breathing.
  • Abortion and still birth.

Postmortem findings-

  • Pin point haemorrhages and    enlarged tonsilar lymph node.
  • Petechiae and ecchymoses on the skin
  • Haemorrhages in the body organs especially kidney, heart and lung.
  • ‘Button ulcer’ on large intestine

Is there treatment for Swine fever?

No, there is no treatment for Classical Swine fever as it is a viral disease. But, the following supportive treatment may be provided to avoid secondary complications.

  • Treatment with antibiotics e.g.Enrofloxacin and vitamin to check secondary bacterial infection in consultation with veterinary practitioner.
  • Antipyretic drugs (e.g.Paracetamol) may be injected to bring down the temperature if and when required.

How can one prevent the disease?

  1. The best way to prevent the disease is through regular vaccination to the pig herd.
  2. The diseased pig has to be separated from the healthy pigs and separate provision has to be made for feeding and watering.
  3. The farm premises must be kept clean. Before entry into the farm, dip feets/shoes in potash solution (1:1000 Potassium Permanganate).
  4. All the farm utensils should be cleaned with antiseptic solution
  5. Strict personal hygienic measure should be followed who is involved in the management of the farm
  6. Disinfect the pig sty and the surrounding premises with 4% washing soda (Na2Co3) or 4% phenol.

Vaccination schedule for Swine fever

As there is no specific treatment for viral diseases and therefore, vaccination is the only measure to prevent them. It is also to be noted that strict manufacturer recommendation should be followed for dose and other schedule. (See Table 1.1)

Table 1.1:

Name of the Vaccine Lapinized Swine fever vaccine
1st vaccination Two (2) months
Booster dose vaccination Three (3) months after first vaccination
Annual vaccination Repeat after every 6 months
Source of vaccine Veterinary Biologicals, Animal Husbandry & Vety. Department, Khanapara Ghy-22

Some important points to remember during vaccination–

  1. The vaccine should be stored at 40C temperature right from the point of procurement.
  2. It should never be exposed to normal room temperature even during transportation.
  3. While the vaccine is transported from the point of procurement to the farm, it should be transported in thermo flask with ice or ice pack.
  4. During the time of vaccination, vaccine vial should not be kept under room temperature for long time. Preferably an ice box may be used for longer shelf life.

Compiled by-
Dr. Monuj Kr. Doley
Subject Matter Specialist (Animal Sc.)
Dr. Akhil Kr. Deka
Programme Coordinator
Pranjit Baruah
Programme Assistant (Computer)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Karbi Anglong

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