Do Pigs Need Shots?

Pigs need help from the people who care for them to stay healthy. Some of the things pigs need are safe places to live, healthy food, and care for their health. 

There are things their caretakers can take responsibility for; for other things, pigs will need to go to a veterinarian who specializes in caring for farm animals.

Do pigs need shots? Pigs need vaccinations in order to be healthy. Pigs are at risk for certain diseases, and vaccinations are given to protect them from these diseases. Pig vaccinations contain “safe” versions of microorganisms in order to get their system ready to fight diseases. 

These microorganisms are not alive  so they will alert the immune system of the pig  but it will not make the pig sick. 

Some types of vaccinations are needed by pigs from all parts of the world. But, the number and frequency of vaccinations needed depend to a large extent on what part of the world they live in, and what kinds of germs are prevalent in that part of the world. 

Do Pigs Need Shots

How Often Do Pigs Need to Be Vaccinated?

At three weeks old, the pig should be vaccinated against circovirus, a virus found in pigs worldwide. 

At four weeks old, the pig will need a booster for the same diseases as they were vaccinated on week one. They also need to be vaccinated against actinobacillus pleuropneumonia. 

They will need to be vaccinated against Glassner’s disease and against polyserositis at eight weeks old. 

If a pig is going to be presented in a show, it must have documentation of certain vaccinations. It takes from 10 to 21 days for vaccines to be effective. 

How Many Vaccines Do Pigs Get?

There are many types of vaccinations your pig could get. Most vets agree that the four most important vaccinations to help your pigs maintain optimal health are: atrophic rhinitis (bordetella), cillus pleuropneumonia (APP), mycoplasma pneumonia, and erysipelas. 

See the above list for additional important vaccinations.

Do Pigs Need Rabies Shots?

Pigs can contract rabies. There are two types of rabies pigs could get. However, rabies is rare in pigs, unless you are in the USA. 

Therefore, pigs are not required by law to get rabies shots, but your veterinarian can give a rabies shot to your pig. 

If a pig is kept in a zoo or is in frequent contact with the public or wildlife, it should get a rabies shot to protect them. 

Do Feeder Pigs Need Shots?

Feeder pigs need the same vaccinations as other pigs. They should follow the advice of the herd’s veterinarian, but they should get at least the basic four vaccinations. 

How Much Do Pig Vaccinations Cost?

The veterinary supply website quotes the following prices per 100 dose bottles of the basic four vaccinations:

Rhinitis – 41.95

Mycoplasma 30.95

Erysipelas 22.95

Pneumonia 45.95

Where to Buy Pig Vaccines?

There are many online veterinary supply or veterinary medication sites, and the prices and availability of their vaccination vary. 

Depending on where you live, your veterinarian would be the best person to recommend where to buy vaccination supplies.

Your veterinarian may sell vaccination supplies at their office or clinic.

Do Piglets Need Shots?

A week after a pig is born, it will need its first vaccination. They need vaccines against rhinitis, erysipelas, mycoplasma, and pneumonia. 

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages; erysipelas is a bacterial skin infection; mycoplasma and pneumonia are respiratory system infections. 

When a pig herder buys piglets, they should ask the breeder which shots have already been given. That way, they will know which shots still need to be done. 

How to Vaccinate Pigs?

Every person who cares for pigs should know the proper procedure to vaccinate pigs safely. Incorrect vaccination techniques can result in injury to the pig – or in the pig not receiving the proper amount of vaccine.

Here are some instructions on how to vaccinate a pig:

Injection In The Muscle

Put one hand behind the pig’s ear and the other on its shoulder. You should place the vaccination between the two hands.

Be sure you have washed and dried the area in which you will inject the vaccination.

Don’t inject the pig in its ham or its loin.

If the pig is small, push its skin forward. Then, inject the vaccination. Let the skin fall back naturally after the vaccination. (This step is only needed for small pigs.) 

Under the Skin

Be sure you have washed and dried the area in which you will inject the vaccination

Place the needle underneath a very small amount of the skin: slide it forward and point it ahead before you inject. Inject only after you have done this.

For small pigs, inject behind the elbow or in its flank

For larger pigs, inject at the same place between the neck and shoulder as above. 

In the Nose

Do not use the needle of the syringe when you give the vaccine in the nose.

Hold the pig’s head upward while you give the vaccine. Keep its head held upward afterward for a few minutes to ensure the vaccine reaches the deep part of the nasal passages. The vaccine must reach those passages to be correctly distributed to the body. 

There are some standard rules for administering vaccinations to pigs:

1. Check with your veterinarian or with the vaccination company to be sure you are using the proper size needle and dosage

2. Use proper animal restraint. The pig will need to stay still to avoid injuring itself, you, or anyone helping you.

3. Be sure to pick up any needle that is dropped. Stray needles can injure pigs, or be lodged in the folds of their skin.

4. Never use a needle that has been bent. If it bends, discard it and change to a new needle.

Conclusion: Do Pigs Need Shots?

Pigs need vaccinations in order to maintain their health. There are four basic vaccinations needed by most pigs and others that are needed at various times of their lives. Show pigs have to show documentation of certain vaccinations before being shown. 

Check with your veterinarian for guidance or assistance with any vaccination concerns.