Toxaemia is most often seen in the last third of the pregnancy or the first few days before the birth. It is found that in most cases both the babies and the sow are lost. There are two types of Toxaemia. The first caused by internal problems. Food intake being restricted by larger litters. Another being that larger litters occupy more space in the uterus, this can lead to compression of the large uterine blood vessels compromising the uterine blood supply. Babies will die from suffocation and the uterine wall becomes dark-red, blue or black. The sow becomes depressed and develops Toxaemia.
The second is due to external problems, and these are the more common reasons. Stress is the largest factor: can be caused by transportation, heat, mobbing from other cavies, by showing through other diseases. Overweight sows are most at risk of developing Toxaemia. The only way to try to save a sow is to get her to a vet as soon as possible. Caesareans section may be necessary to save the life of the mother.
Sows will sometimes deliver the babies, these are usually premature and not fully developed. She will most liky make no attempt at opening the sacks as the babies will have been born dead.
Symptoms The sow may go off of her food.
Sow may start salivating / drooling.
Sow will become listless.
Anorexia / weight loss.
Ears and feet may be cold.
Sow becomes depressed.
She will feel catatonic / lifeless if handled.
Sow may have a hunched posture.
The sow / her breath may smell. A sweet or acetone smell.
Do not breed form overweight sows. (also try not to diet down obese sow to breed from them. Although they will look “slimmer” there is still the change that fat will be retained around the vital organs, which would be the same as breeding from an obese sow).
Ensure that your sows are fed on a well balanced diet.
Avoid stress to the sow.