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Farm Animal Practice
Diagnosis of central nervous system disorders in the pig
  1. Stan Done

    Stan Done qualified from London in 1968. He is the consultative pathology unit at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, where he is responsible for the new and emerging diseases research programme.


THE wide range of neurological disorders of the pig provide a special challenge to the skills of the clinician and pathologist. The most frequent clinical sign is sudden death; it is a major indicator of two of the commonest neurological disorders - water deprivation syndrome and streptococcal meningitis. This obviously precludes any investigation, other than a post mortem examination. In the living animal, neurological disorders may manifest with many simultaneous signs. Because neurological examination is a potentially frightening and largely impossible project, differential diagnosis is often not attempted, and immediate resort is made to slaughter. Despite these problems it is possible to achieve a diagnosis. The practice of neurology depends, for the most part, on detailed clinical examination and history taking. The retrospective evaluation of all aspects of the environment in its widest sense, including in particular nutrition and feeding methods, is of the utmost importance.

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