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Quick guide to Pityriasis Rosea

Dr Andrew Tucker, CS Vet
What is Pityriasis Rosea?
Pityriasis is a condition often seen on farms. The cause of the condition is at this stage still unknown, but it is thought to be genetic, stemming back to a certain gene. The result of the condition is moderate to severe skin lesions often covering most of the body.

How do you know if it’s on your farm?
The skin lesions are typical. Pityriasis usually starts in one piglet or a few piglets in the litter, although involvement of the whole litter is not unheard of. It starts in the farrowing house when the piglet is two to four weeks old and slowly spreads over a two month period. The skin lesions start as red patches on the flanks, groin and thighs. These red patches later become reddish rings with normal centres and extend to cover most of the body. The skin lesions are not itchy and so you will not see pigs scratching as they do with mange for example.
How do you treat or prevent it?
The condition is self-limiting and resolves completely, usually by the middle of the grower phase. Affected pigs will often need antibiotic treatment to stop secondary bacterial infection of the skin, otherwise there is no treatment for this condition and pigs should just be monitored until they recover. Being non-infectious, these pigs do not pose a risk to their pen mates. If a large number of cases are seen on the farm one could look at the boar as a possible source of the problem.
References
Pig Diseases – D.J. Taylor; Diseases of Swine – Straw, Zimmerman, D’Allaire, Taylor

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