This is an uncommon condition caused by low levels of calcium in the blood stream. It may occur at any stage but is most likely within seven days either side of farrowing. Occasionally seen pre farrowing but normally during lactation.



  • Sudden in onset.
  • The sow becomes distressed.
  • Panting heavily.
  • Trembles and shakes.
  • Fits and convulsions.
  • Reactive to external stimuli, both touch and sound.
  • Death often results unless there is prompt treatment.

Piglets, Weaners & Growers

  • N/A

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Loss of calcium in the colostrum.
  • Shortage of calcium in the diet.
  • Failure of uptake of sufficient calcium.
  • Heavy milking sows.


This is based on the clinical signs but it can be confused with the porcine stress syndrome (PSS).


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