Treatment Type: Lifestyle practices
Rated for: American Guinea Hog
By Ame Vanorio
Falmouth, Kentucky, United States
Posted Sep. 4, 2018
Salt Toxicity is not just a dehydration issue. It is a balance issue. The balance between salt and water in the pigs body is very important. When a pig does not have an adequate supply of water and too much salt their brain cells shrink. Upon drinking the brain cells swell. Too much water can cause the brain to swell leading to neurological problems. Pigs may exhibit aimless wandering or falling down and not being able to right themselves.
I had this happen one day to three young pigs I had in a stall. I fed and watered the pigs before going to my teaching job. During the hot day my pigs dumped the water source and ate the food. This caused an imbalance and "salt poisoning", although I was unfamiliar with the term at the time. I came home to pigs that acted drunk and were falling over. I called my vet right away. He was able to diagnose them. I stayed up all night with them giving small amounts of fluids and Gatorade to slowly improve their salt/ water ratio. They were fine the next day but it was a very scary experience and a hard lesson! Now I use heavier water troughs that they can not tip over.