Diarrhea can be caused by the bacteria Clostridium, a Gram-positive bacterium passed on through the faeces from sow to piglet. This type of diarrhea is often known as birth diarrhea.
After weaning, when the piglets are no longer directly supported by antibodies from the sows’ milk, they become much more susceptible to E. coli and other enteric bacteria. Especially as their immune system is not fully developed. E. coli causes watery brown or greyish diarrhea. E. coli is determined through laboratory analysis.
Furthermore, diarrhea has other causes – presence of Salmonella spp., and Lawsonia spp., are two of them – and non-enteric diarrhea is another. A non-enteric form of diarrhea may occur, when introducing feed to the piglet. Compared to the infectious diarrhea, the stool though will be much firmer and the piglet much more vital during the short period of non-enteric diarrhea.