Bellied Pig Health and Information Articles
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Potbellied Pig FAQ's and Information
Well I went down to the barn this morning to let Pudge out to graze for
a while and he was holding his head sideways. I got him to lay down for
a tummy rub and looked in his ears and there was a lot of wax buildup.
Shanna, we never put any liquid in the ears of the pigs here as it can
cause inner ear problems. We clean only as far as our finger will allow
with a soft damp cloth instead. It is possible that your boy has the beginnings
of an ear infection and that's why the head is tilted. Pigs will also
tilt that way if they have water in the ears. If he continues with the
head tilt you might want to talk to your vet about giving him an antibiotic
speaking of ears, do you or ANYONE OUT THERE know of an inexpensive way
to treat an PBP ear infection? I believe Ruthie may have one because she
has been shaking her head a lot for some time and its gotten worse and
I can't even pat her on the head without her shaking it now. She just
never did that before, so all I can figure is an ear infection or stuffed
up eardrums! CINDY
be an infection or it could be she got mud or water in there and pigs
aren't above getting a fungus in there if ears are wet a lot. If she was
mine I would give her a day or two to see if she gets it taken care of
herself. Sometimes they get water in there from their pools and they will
head tilt and shake their heads a lot also if a bug got in there. Ear
infections are a little more insidious and they may have a head tilt but
they don't usually walk around shaking it. If it is an ear infection you
can ask your vet for an antibiotic...again I don't like Baytril even if
it is the drug of choice cause its only good if you can get it in the
pig and even cross country I have never found anyone that managed to get
it in the pig. Must be some terrible tasting stuff as they foam at the
mouth even. I prefer the Ampicillin which I can get them to eat.
Q: My pot bellied pig has problems with her eyes. I've had her to the vets 6 months ago and he cut her eye lashes and stitched her eye lids back to keep the lashes from causing ulcers on her eyes. Now, it is back, I believe, worse. Her eyes are draining a red color. I tried washing them out with boric acid, but she is very feisty when I try to do this. Is there any other thing I can do other than take her back to the vet. I'm retired so these vet charges are draining me. I know her vision is poor, I just don't want her to have pain in her eyes. Can you advise me? Thanks. Shirley
A: Hard to tell if this pig really did have Etrophia or not. Where the eyelids actually invert and scratch the cornea of the eye. Sounds more like maybe fat roll has drooped over the eyes. Even if it was really Etrophia than the surgery usually only lasts a while unless they use that new technique that's out there where they staple the wire to the skull of the pig. She doesn't give the age of this pig, but I would hesitate to put him under again for that kind of surgery. She can use a squeeze bottle to help make them feel better. Squeezing the water into the eye and softly wiping but for the most part they are going to be blind when they are old no matter what you do. The eye surgery evidently was a failure. They hope when they do that that the scar tissue will grow and keep the eyelids up. As I said it doesn't usually work on a pig. This pig may benefit from a diet ....but she didn't say what kind of shape he is in.
Q: I was just wandering about my pigs eyes. He is spoiled and seems to be in good health. I worry because his eyes seem shut all the time. He has no signs of not seeing. He loves when I clean his eyes. He gets around fine. Is there anything I should look for? Thank you, Bobbie
A: As long as he seems fine to you then I wouldn't worry too much. These pigs have poor eyesight which gets worse with age. You are doing the right thing by cleaning them and checking them often. I'm thinking maybe your pig is one of the short nosed pigs with wrinkles on the face which makes the eyes appear closed all the time. Usually if a pig is having problems with his eyes he will rub them constantly on furniture, walls etc. until the hair is rubbed off around the eyes. Your pig isn't doing any of that so think we can assume he is fine.
Q: Hi I have written you before in regards to my pig Chulo. As an update he is almost 5 months old. He got his tummy caught on something and his intestines were hanging out. He had emergency surgery and seems to be fine. Today however he started to head tilt to the left. The vet has him now but if it happens again what can I do? Also is there anything you can give pigs for gas? Any advice will help. Thank you.
A: Most of the time the head tilt is an indication of an ear infection. This is why we tell people to not put any liquid in the ear for cleaning etc...vets will sometimes do this during a routine visit and it always causes problems. An antibiotic should take care of the problem. The gas problem is usually caused by gasey vegetables.
Q: Phyllis, Thank you for your swift reply. I did talk to Vet hosp. at UC Davis and they will take him in and do a tusk, toe, ear. I am gald so many people care about pigs. Thanks again, Dayna
Dayna, all sounds good except the "ear" part. Most vets tend
to want to clean ears when they do other things. With pigs that is not
a good idea. We have found and lots of other potbellied pig people that
these guys get ear infections and yeast infections when liquids are put
into the ear canal for cleaning. We tell people to clean with a damp rag
and ONLY as far as your finger will reach in the ear. The gunk thats in
there deep keeps water and dirt out.
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