My Pig Is Down And Won’t Get Up – Top Reasons Why

Like all animals, pigs also do fall sick. However, knowing this in advance can make the difference between saving your pet and losing it. Since pigs are prey animals, they mask sickness until they can no longer take it. Therefore, knowing the behaviors and routines of your pigs are crucial in discovering issues early.

My Pig is down and won't get up

So, if you visit your pig in its pen or sty and find out that it won’t get up, know that your pig is going through something serious. It may be having a dislocated joint, muscle injury, arthritis, spinal cord issues, or even tremors.

Joint Injuries

One of the things that can cause your pig not to get up are joint injuries. Pigs are heavily muscled and active creatures. Hence, a small injury to their joint may render them immobile as it won’t support their weight. Joint injuries are common in show pigs.

Such injuries can occur due to stretched ligaments, bruises, extended tendons, or small fractures. The pig may start by limping, and after some time, it will stall completely.

What To Do About It

Joint stiffness is a problem for pigs as they will not move around as they are accustomed to. It’s crucial to inspect the swollen joint and see if acute bacteria has infected it. Next, call a veterinarian to examine the extent of damage and diagnose it.

Muscle Injuries

Even though muscle injuries are not common in pigs, they can still happen. Your pig’s muscles may be swollen with an overlying skin reddened with bacterial infections like Clostridium. If the muscle injury is not treated in time, the pig will weaken and fail to get up.

What To Do About It

Call a veterinarian to perform various tests on your pig. Any delay may lead to a severe injury that may paralyze your pig for good.

Claw Lesions

Another reason why your pig is down may be due to claw lesions. This issue is more common in older pigs than younger ones. According to various studies, claw lesions are normally caused by multifactorial problems. These include poor nutrition, genetics, age, and housing.

What To Do About It

Provide pigs with the right nutrition, housing, and even the perfect environment. Additionally, older pigs should be monitored closely and feed a strict diet that doesn’t promote horn growth.

Metabolic Bone Diseases

Also referred to as skeletal system or bone diseases, they will cause discomfort to your pig until it cannot walk or stand up. Metabolic bone diseases include osteomalacia, rickets, and osteoporosis. Treating these diseases is quite challenging if not detected very early.

Among the three metabolic bone diseases we’ve mentioned, rickets is the easiest to detect. When your older pigs have soft, rubbery bones and increased cracking, then it’s rickets.

What To Do About It

Get in touch with your veterinarian to diagnose your pig right away. However, the most challenging part about diagnosing your pig is identifying the metabolic diseases it’s suffering from.

Spinal Cord Problems

If your pig has a spinal cord problem, it may not be able to stand up or move around. This is because the body may be uncoordinated, with the front or hind legs unable to move. Therefore, you may notice your pig sleeping on its side or just “dog-sitting”.

Why Is My Pig down and won't get up

Some of the diseases that affect the pig’s spinal cord are tumors, trauma, infections such as bacterial meningitis, and toxicity like selenium toxicity.

What To Do About It

Spinal cord injuries are usually fatal as the chances of recovering are almost zero. If you notice that your pig has a spinal cord problem, you should contact a veterinarian and find out the way forward.

Diseases Affecting The Brain

If your pig is affected by one of the brain diseases, it may fail to move or stand up. This is because diseases that attack the brain causes the pig to lose awareness. You may be standing in front of it, and it won’t recognize you at all.

Some of the diseases that affect the pig’s brain include rabies, PCV2, enterovirus/teschovirus, and much more.

What To Do About It

Get in touch with a veterinarian so that they can carry out tests and detect which disease is disturbing your pig. You should also not force the pig to stand up if it’s having this condition until the vet gives a way forward.


Your pig may also fail to get up because of paralysis. Paralysis or lameness in pigs is usually caused by foot and mouth disease. Foot and mouth diseases is a highly contagious viral infectious disease. Besides not getting up, other signs of paralysis include high fever, blisters and vesicles in the mouth, and salivation

What To Do About It

Paralysis is very dangerous as it can even cause heart failure and lead to the death of your animal. Additionally, it may permanently affect your pig. However, the condition is treatable, but you may need a different diagnosis for footrot for leg and foot lesions.

Bone Fracture

One of the most painful situations your pig can undergo is having a bone fracture. A bone fracture can result from trauma and a fight with another pig or some disease.

Some of the diseases that cause bone fracture include arthritis, acute laminitis, mycoplasma arthritis, osteochondrosis, bush foot, or muscle tearing. Osteochondrosis is the most common one and occurs due to a lack of calcium phosphorous and vitamins A and D, and osteochondrosis.

What To Do About It

If the animal is suffering because of a lack of the minerals that we’ve mentioned above, you can still save its life by ensuring it receives a diet with those minerals. But if it’s due to one of the diseases that we have highlighted, you will have to slaughter it.


All-in-all, you need to learn and understand your pig’s behavior, regardless of whether it’s a pet or not. This can help you notice any change in the behavior of your domesticated animal.

If you can’t figure out why your pig can’t stand up, the best choice is to contact a veterinarian. He or she will perform various tests and diagnose your pig.

However, it’s vital to note that some conditions like spinal damage have no solutions; thus, they require drastic decisions. We wish you all the best as you try to help your pig get up!