Bellied Pig Health and Information Articles
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Potbellied Pig FAQ's and Information
Below: Sick Pig
Q: I HAVE A MALE PIG WHO IS 4 YEARS OLD AND AS OF TODAY HE IS RUNNING A FEVER AND WILL NOT EAT! I HAVE GIVEN HIM AN ORAL ANTIBIOTIC AND 2 BAYER ASPIRIN THAT I DISSOLVED IN WATER AND GAVE HIM WITH A SYRINGE. WHAT TYPE OF INJECTABLE ANTIBIOTIC CAN I GIVE? HOW MUCH? HE WEIGHS ABOUT 100 LBS. AND WHERE DO I INJECT IT? I HAVE A FARM WHERE I RAISE SHEEP AND GOATS, SO I AM VERY FAMILIAR WITH INJECTIONS. HELP!!!!!!
A: You can give him the Procaine Penicillin and about 4 cc morning and by night he should be well enough to take oral by mouth pills. We use the Ampicillin 500 mg for that and they usually don't give much problem eating it if you pull it apart and put in something really good. If he isn't eating by night than give another injection and even if he starts eating etc.
Keep the oral up for about 6 or 7 days. You can inject him in the ham muscle (butt) easier than in the neck muscle and I always use the rear end cause its easier to do. Lay off the aspirin's once you inject him OK. Let me hear from you. Phyllis
YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE. I WAS ABLE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR FARM VET SATURDAY
NIGHT AND SHE BROUGHT HIM AN ANTIBIOTIC. SHE ALSO GAVE HIM BANTAMINE TO
SMOOTH HIM STOMACH IN CASE HE WAS HAVING TUMMY PAIN.
A: Hi Tammy, glad the boy is back to normal. There are several things that might have caused this fever. Usually it is pig pneumonia. Pigs don't cough or show any symptoms other than refusing feed which we know on a pig is a real sign of trouble.
Plain old pig pneumonia can be fixed easily by the injections of antibiotics if caught early...while some of the other types takes longer stronger medicines. They don't have to be around other pigs to get this and it isn't one that is transmitted to other pigs. It just happens and in some cases its the crazy weather changes that we have.
They can handle heat as long as they have a pool to cool off in or they can handle cold if they have good shelter. A ten degree drop in temp or rise in temp is hard for them to handle. (This year we have had a lot of the ups and downs in temperature here in Illinois.) You were very smart to take his temp and catch it early on. Keep me posted OK?
I have a new potbelly pig that is about 2 months old. I was rubbing her
stomach and found a large tumor-like knot on her. Is it possible for such
a young pig to have tumors and what should I do. Also, at what age can
she be spayed? thank you...
A: I would say its more likely that your little girl has a hernia. This happens sometimes to young babies. I would take her in and let the vet see it as sometimes they can strangulate the intestines. If its not a bad hernia he can wait to fix it till you have her spayed but waiting is always iffy on a hernia.
As for spaying
my vet prefers them about three months. If this is a hernia it would be
great to be able to fix that and spay her at the same time so she would
only have to be put under once for the surgery. Keep me posted OK?
Q: In the article regarding e-coli, you speak about the use of an antibiotic. Today being a holiday, there are no vets around. Little girl is not well, went down yesterday. The gal that has her kept her warm through the night. I have given her a little pepto, she has diarrhea that is yellow and creamy. Possibly from getting a change in food to a puppy milk replacer. Will lap small amounts of water. Any suggestions? Thanks, Cheryl
The rice in the cereal helps them get back to normal. Now....a couple of days after they are born the poo turns a mustard yellow that is pudding consistency could that be what your seeing?? And if she is lapping small amounts of water than she should lap small amounts of her formula with the rice mixture in it.
I need a little advice. Mollie seems to be pretty sore from her surgery.
I heard one of you say that you give them baby aspirin. How many? How
many regular aspirin do you give them? She weighs under 30lbs. I guess
baby aspirin would be safer for her since she is such a baby. Please advise.
Kellie & Mollie
A. Kelly I don't even give baby aspirin if I can avoid it. I don't give pain meds after the surgery because the pain is what keeps them from doing something stupid like trying to jump or play. Believe me these guys bounce back quickly from surgery and even though most vets say to remove stitches (if you don't have disposable ones) in 7 to 10 days on most pigs you can see that the incision is healed shut in as little as three days.
Q: Hi Phyllis, I emailed you back in Feb. about my pig, you thought he might have arthritis and recommended Synovicre EQ. How much should I give him? The package only has instructions for horses. He is 11 years old and weighs about 75 lbs. The vet gave him two injections, an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. He also gave him 20 capsules of Ditrim 960 mg to be given 2 capsules once a day. He said he should be walking better in 10 days. He also said the Synovicre EQ would be fine and would probably help him. Please e-mail me ASAP, I just received the Synovicre today and want to start him on it as soon as I can. Thank You for the info, Brenda
A: Hi Brenda, I would start him off with a teaspoon on his feed in the morning and another one on his feed at night time. It takes about 3 weeks to get into the system and start working so once you start him on it make sure you order it enough ahead of time that he doesn't have to be without. Let me know how he does from time to time OK?
Q: I love your web site and I felt you might be able to help me with my Gracie Lu. First Gracie appeared constipated. I gave her a product I bought for constipation in potbelly pigs. I put it in her food and she ate it. She had small balls of stools. The next day Gracie would not eat and it took my husband and I to just get her to move because I was afraid she would just lay there and die. She urinated but, no stools.
She refused water and food, any food. This morning her color was bad, she is pink and appeared a bit gray. Still refused any fluids or food. I spent most of the day rubbing Gracie's back, holding her head and giving her small amounts of water and juice. I had to give her fluids with a turkey baster. I started giving her Penicillin IM last night and again today. Tonight she will still not take fluids unless I give it to her with the turkey baster, but she will eat small bits of apple, celery, and lettuce.
She is not running a temp, and tonight her color is pink again. When I rub her tummy she doesn't seem to be in pain. I've gotten her up sometimes just to roll over but I have tried to at least get her to move.
Today, she has urinated only a very small amount, and when she walks she was weakness in her left side. She drags her left foot, however, when I touch it or even rub it she doesn't have pain. Gracie is 3 years old, she is a big girl. I think by using the tape she is about 200# and is very long (57" long). I can not get a vet to come and see her, it is impossible for me to get her to vet. It takes all I have to roll her over but I could never get her in a car. The vets I've called tell me she could be dying or had a heart attack or a stroke. They also said she would be dead within 24 hours if she had a blockage or heart attack.
Its been 72 hours but I still don't know what to do to help her. One vet told me I should just put her down. I can't do that to Gracie. I will keep her comfortable and give her love even if she is going to die but I can't end her life. Can you give me any guidance to help her. Michele
A: Michele, I never give up till the pig gives up! These animals have tremendous recovery powers and even ones that we think are on the way out have a way of coming back with just a little help.
For constipation we use just plain ole canned pumpkin fed by itself. In Gracy's case your right in getting the fluids in there first. They are most important. You can also try the Ensure Plus that they put out for old people if your concerned with food intake. It has a days worth of vitamins etc. and tastes like a vanilla shake.
It sounds like she may have had a small mini stroke but that is something she can overcome if things go right. I would continue the Penicillin for a couple of days to counter any effects that might come on for any other reasons. It helps when they start eating and you can go on to the oral antibiotics without having to stick them.
You said she wasn't running a temp? You know that farm hogs have a normal temp of 102 but Potbellies don't. Normal for a pot is 98 to 101 with 101 being iffy. So if hers is any higher than 101 she is running a fever which would indicate an infection.
Gracy is three years old but is she spayed? Unspayed females can get Pyometria (infection in the uterus) Check her vulva and see if there is any discharge there...sometimes you have to squeeze it to get anything out. Clear or white is not bad but yellow or green is. Three year old healthy pigs just don't quit eating so we know there is some type of problem there.
Your vet isn't completely correct that she would be dead with a blockage...a partial blockage they can live with for quite a while but they don't eat and go down hill daily. From your post it sounds more like a mini stroke though so let's get her pooping and see what happens. You can give apple juice in the water to encourage her drinking also. Fluids are vital at this point so anything you can get in her that makes liquid is good. DON'T use Gatorade at this time as she isn't drinking enough fluids to dilute the salt in it OK?
Keep me posted and here is my phone number if you want to call me. 618 459 3619 I'm outside a lot so if I don't answer leave your number and I will call you back.
a pot bellied piggie. He is now almost 1 year old. A couple days ago ive
noticed like a cyst on his right side of his bellie. I will be taking
him to the vet on the 11th. Attitude or eating habits are still really
good. He wont let me give him a bath nor will he get in his piggy pool.
He still runs and plays. what could it be Help!! Sheree
A: Its probably a hernia (break in the intestinal wall) unless it grows a lot quickly (like a LOT overnight) it should be fine til he gets neutered and they can fix it at the same time..
Q: Ever since we got our male pig (Hammie) fixed he hasn't quite acted the same. I thought at first it was just because he was just through a major ordeal, and its just going to take a while. But a few days later he started vomiting. So I called the Dr. back and he said he shouldn't be doing that, maybe its just from the trauma and the shot from his surgery. Well he started doing a little better, running and playing back to his old self. Well its been a week later and he's been coughing, sneezing and vomiting, and diareah. Drinks water but didin't eat this morning. Please help, the vets in this area aren't any help. Thank you, Jenny
Sounds like your boy maybe picked up an infection. You might want to call
the vet back and ask for some antibiotics....my choice for oral would
be Ampicillin 500mg or Amoxycillin 500mg that you can put in a donut or
something special to get it down. The one you don't want is called Baytril
...its a great drug but pigs wont take it no matter what you do to it.
Even the one in chewable form for dogs they won't eat.
Q: Hi, I need your help. I have a 10 year old Pot that is having trouble. I live in the Chicago, IL area and the only Vet I have had is one from the Suburbs that is a horse Dr. He does the hoof trimming, ear cleaning, shot giving but doesn't know to much about Pots. I called him and he told me to take mine to U. of I. Vet school in DeKalb, IL. I can't even get Pork chop in a car much less transport him. I have a Vet that I use for my Dog that told me to try (haha) to get a urine sample and bring it to him. PC has a runny nose, thick mucus and now has a little bit of pus from his eyes. His ears are dirty and I am trying to clean them as best as I can, but he really gives me a hard time when I try to do anything to him. He has been having trouble with Arthritis and I give him 1/2 of a Ascription aspirin twice a day for that, also Glucosomine and MSM for pain. Do you have any suggestions of any medication that I can tell my Vet about or any sites I can get information from? I am supposed to go out of town on May 31st for a Wedding and be gone for l0-12 days. Don't want to leave him with my Granddaughter until I know he is safe. Help please. I am a Senior Citizen and can't physically lift or transport him. Helen
A: Lana, she doesn't say much except about the snotty nose and eyes. Guess she might not know how to take his temp. but she can ask the vet for some antibiotics for him in case its pneumonia. Any of the drugs are good EXCEPT Baytril and its impossible to get them to eat that. I would opt for Ampicillin 500 mg capsules that can be put in his food....she didn't say if he was eating and going potty normal so you might ask her.
Q: I believe I have written to you before. I have a 16 year old neutered male PBP named Orville. We live on the coast in Wilmington, NC. He has enjoyed general good health throughout most of his life except for a stint of 2 years of gross neglect by an inhumane person. Anyway, for the past 7 years while I have had him, he has been pampered.
Three years ago he had a tumor in the roof of his mouth that was removed and determined to be benign. Now he is having seizures. He has had 4 in the past month. They always occur in the morning shortly after he begins to eat. He has severe arthritis of his jaw so he is fed canned dog food in gravy and lots of fruit like watermelon, cantelopes and tomatoes. I tried making a mush of the elder PBP food and added applesauce and whatever else he likes. He refused to eat the pig food.
I can mix it with the dog food. When he is finished, the dog food and gravy are gone, but the pig food is in a mushy pile. I thought that time would make him eat it. He went three weeks without eating so I gave in.
He drinks some during the day and is urinating and defecating normal amounts. I am not sure he drinks at night. Do you think he could be water deprived in the morning and when he gets the first couple of slurps, he seizes from sodium overload?
possibility is the tumor was not benign and now has spread. He is a little
feeble due to his advanced age, but manages to get off his foam pull out
couch and go out in the paddock to root and graze for awhile each day.
He can still throw a 17 hand jumper out of his stall and steal his hay.
We have no vet in the area that cares for PBP's. Should I try juice in
his water at night to encourage him to drink? Should I just keep him comfortable
between episodes and realize he won't live forever? I feel so helpless.
Let me know if you have suggestions.
A: I'm wondering if your old boy isn't reacting to the cold melons etc. that might be in the food in the mornings? A lot like a brain freeze when we eat ice cream. My next thought would be a selenium deficiency in his diet. Not sure that NC has soil that is high in selenium so you might want to put him on a daily vitamin to help things along. (At his age it's a good idea anyway...all of our old pigs are on them.) We use the generic brand of children's vitamins like Flintstones. One twice a day will help and they usually eat them like treats.
I know that you can get a safe selenium supplement pellets from Heartland Animal Products, but again its a pellet that gets mixed with the food and since he isn't on pig chow he probably wouldn't eat it either. This is NOT something that you want to buy on your own and add...it can be overdosed unlike some other minerals. You are doing a great job with him to get him to this age with no major problems so you must be doing something right. Their systems change with age just as ours do so maybe just adjusting a few things might help. Give him a tummy rub for me and stay in touch OK?
I have a pig that hasn't eaten in a long time. I think she is constipated.
She does drink water. I've tried apple juice, she won't touch it, nor
cranapple. I cannot afford a vet presently as money is tight. Her stools
are a carmel color and hard. She passes only a few at a time. They're
about the size of or diameter of a nickle. If I can't try an enema I guess
I'll have to put her down. She's irritable and it's hard to do anything
with her. Would it hurt to try to give her an enema or see if I can get
some Epsom salt liqiud in her? She has only eaten pot belly pig food and
I give, or gave her an apple a day. No garbage or junk of any kind. I'll
have to "hog tie", pardon the pun, her to do anything to her.
This is in regards to my pig. She WILL NOT eat anything at all, pumpkin
or other wise. She will only drink water, nothing else. I left her a day
without any water, and had apple juice and cranapple juice in her pen.
She wouldn't touch it. The minute I gave her water she drank. I live out
in the desert, gets up to 110 degrees, and higher. She must have extreme
will power not to drink the juice. I have no alternative but to try an
enema to see if it helps. I guess I'll just have to put her down as a
last resort. It is going on 5 wks. since she's eaten. She is up and about
and rooting around in her mud hole. I Thank You for your opinion and advice
A: The reason I asked your pigs age is that there are many pigs between the age of 8 and 10 years that are unspayed, showing up with uterine tumors that aren't malignant just very large and also Pyometrias which is an infection in the uterus. The Pyometrias do cause a fever and pigs will drink more when they have a temp.
Normal temp for a potbelly is 99 to 101 (farm pigs is 102) With the tumors pigs don't run a fever they just quit eating period. If your girl had a blockage she wouldn't be doing any mud hole or other rooting around as they are usually very uncomfortable. I would think after this period of time of not eating that there would be no stool to get out of her. If she doesnt eat she cant make much poop.
A constipated pig again is uncomfortable and doesn't usually do much other than dig in the bed and walk in circles. If she were mine I would take her temp first and check two other things if possible.
Check and see if there is any discharge from the vulva. Any discharge would be suspect at this point. It also will have a very bad odor. In severe cases it will be green.... that is Pyometria. If you don't have a vet to help you can always get Procaine Pennicillin from the local farm store and give shots yourself and try to clear it up that way before making the decision to put her down. Of course the vet could give better more long acting antibiotics if you let them work on her.
Second thing would be look for signs of the tumor in case it's that. They usually will swell more on the side the tumor is on and it will be a hard swelling not a soft one. In cases of very large tumors the whole stomach may look more swollen than normal.
The fact that she is drinking water is a very good thing but on ones that have gone long periods without eating we use a turkey baster or large syringe and put the liquid Ensure Plus in the mouth that way. Two cans a day will keep her going for a while if she will let you do that. This isn't a fix for her problem but it will give her some strength to live on.
Q: To whom it may concern, On 12/15/02 I found my pig (Hamlet) stuck in the mud, and not in her normal shelter where she is safe from the cold weather. We brought her in the house to warm her up, but she showed little improvement so we brought her to the vet, but they have little experience with pigs, they thought she may have gotten hypothermia and pneumonia but still weren't 100% sure. They tried to feed her but couldn't they asked me if I wanted to put her down or not, so I went to the store and brought back an apple, she ate some of it, so I've decided to bring her home. Her symptoms are( has not urinated in 48 hrs, has diarrhea, has developed soars around her cheeks front and back, her body temp is low, she cannot stand, and I think she may have vomited little clots of blood.
have a heating blanket wrapped around her and her temp is coming back.
She gets keflex 4 tabs 3x daily. I'm under the impression she might have
gotten into rat poison but not sure, so she also gets 10cc's of vitamin
K. If you may have any suggestion please e-mail me. Thank you for your
A: She probably does have pneumonia plus the hypothermia. The heating pad is a good thing but she needs fluids. They can go longer without eating than they can drinking. She is on antibiotics I assume but you might try giving her some cranberry or apple juice to entice her to drink. Did the vet give her any IV fluids?? (fluids by IV either into the ear or straight into the stomach called paritineal IV) You can try to interest her in the apple juice with either a turkey baster or a syringe and wetting her mouth with it .
HI MY NAME IS DEBBIE AND I HAVE A QUESTION MY YORKSHIRE PIG IS NOT EATING
AND SHE IS LAYING AROUND AND NOT WANTING TO DO ANYTHING PLEASE IF YOU
CAN LET ME KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER I WOULD BE EVER SO PLEASED THANKS
Q: Help! My pig Rootie is vomitting. Last night I was getting ready to feed her her dinner and after I poured her pig chow into her dish I noticed a horrible odor. She came for her dinner and while she was eating I went and checked her bedding and noticed she had vomited in her bed. I cleaned that up and noticed that she only ate a small amount of her dinner - she actually left food in the dish! This morning I went down to feed her her breakfast - (which she didn't even come running for) and I noticed the odor again. She had vomited what she ate last night.
said she is lethargic today - still not eating and didn't even graze while
she was outside. The only thing I can come up with is that she had gotten
into a garbage bag of corn on the cob and it looks like she had gotten
a couple of whole pieces. Could this possibly have made her this sick?
Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much for any help - I don't
know what else to do.
A: The corn might make her ill for a day but it shouldn't last beyond that time. They have good ole Pepto in cherry flavors now if you can get a couple of those in her...if not use the liquid and use a syringe to get it in her. Main concern with vomiting is keeping them hydrated. DO NOT use Gatorade as it has too much salt and helps the dehydration along.
Better to use any fruit drink that she might take like apple, grape, even cranberry. You can give it to her straight if you have to get her to drink it and you might have to put a taste of it in her mouth first. Don't worry about food as they can go without that for a long time without a problem but should she appear to want to eat just use watermelon or grapes and very little of either until the stomach is settled again and even then start with small portions for a day or two. If the vomiting continues find your vet....there is medication for that when it is a real problem due to something other than an upset stomach or the piggy flu bug.
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