Vaccinating pigs in a herd environment is more comprehensive than a typical home environment. In a rescue environment there is far more potential for disease outbreak. The higher numbers of a rescue herd contribute to the risk as well as new pigs entering the herd or rescue farm. Each new intake brings the potential for disease. With rescued pigs the history and health are often unknown. Some of these pigs may have been rescued from a livestock auction or a farm where they were in contact with commercial swine. Some rescued pigs have been malnourished or have suppressed immune systems making them more susceptible to contracting diseases. If one of these diseases is brought into the established rescue herd, the consequences may be devastating. Besides the obvious huge veterinary bills associated with treating many pigs, there may also be fatalities.
Cathy Zolicani, DVM recommends the following vaccines for the herd at a rescue or sanctuary:
Respiratory diseases (Bordatella, atrophic rhinitis, pneumonia)
Additionally, if young pigs or pregnant pigs are involved, a scours vaccine should be used to protect against Clostridium perfringens and E coli.
Many of these come in combo vaccines so the pigs may only need 2-4 vaccines. Always consult with your veterinarian to discuss the best vaccine schedule for your situation, your geographic area, and your pig’s health.