CSU ext

Erysipelas is an infectious disease primarily of growing pigs and is caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. It is characterized clinically by sudden death, fever, arthritis, and skin lesions.

Erysipelas diamond pattern
Erysipelas diamond pattern

How is it transmitted? Pigs acquire erysipelas by ingesting the bacteria from their environment where other pigs have shed the organism in their feces and the soil becomes contaminated.

pigs in dirt
Pigs in their enviroment

What are the signs in affected pigs? Some pigs may die acutely without any symptoms. More often infected pigs have high fever, refuse to eat, walk stiffly, and are reluctant to move. Skin discoloration is typical and varies from widespread reddening and purplish discoloration of the ears, snout, and abdomen, to diamond-shaped skin lesions along the back and sides. The ‘diamond’ lesions occur as pink or light-purple areas of varying size that become raised and firm to the touch. These areas and the tips of the ears and tails may slough in time. In chronic cases, swollen joints and lameness due to arthritis may be seen. Routine vaccination and good sanitation practices are important to preventing erysipelas

 

Erysipelas discoloration of skin
Erysipelas discoloration of skin
More information at Merck Vet Manual:
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/202300.htm&word=Erysipelas