Middle ear infections can be caused by many things. It’s important to recognize the symptoms and begin treatment promptly. Recovery is expected to be good if treated early. Ear infections are not contagious and are unusual in nursing piglets.
Symptoms include holding the head to one side, maybe shaking the head. Loss of coordination. Circling and possibly falling over. You may also notice jerky eye movement. The hog usually retains a healthy appetite.
Treatment is essential with antibiotic penicillin, streptomycin or amoxicillin for approximately 3 days based on the weight of the hog.
Middle ear infections can progress to inner ear infections that can lead to meningitis. Symptoms would include convulsions.
If more than one hog is involved clinical testing and diagnosis is recommended. There are several contagious illnesses or diseases that initially mimic middle ear infections. They can be extremely serious.