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Pot Bellied Pig Health and Information Articles
Just a few of the articles Phyllis has written on the care and well being of Potbellied Pigs.

FAQS Center
Here you will find Questions that people like you have asked Phyllis over the years with her Answers.

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LOTS of pictures of pigs that call Pig Pals Sanctuary home.

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A few pictures of some of the other critters that call Pig Pals Sanctuary™ home.

King Charles and BinBin

Potbellied Pig FAQ's and Information

Below: Vaccinations & Worming

Q: I do have one question. About 10 days ago I gave her an Ivomec shot of course assuming she was spayed. Will that affect the unborn babies? Thanks again.

A: Nope, Ivomec is safe to give to pregnant girls. Yes she will continue to be hungry I'm sure and she needs it to give the babies and even after they are born you want to give her plenty while babies are nursing.


Q: I am looking at my bottle and it says for swine 1ml (cc)per 75lbs body weight. Hey Phyllis I was just thinking since this is an injectable is the dose the same for giving it orally? I didn't think about that before DUH. Jacque

A: Some people double the dose when they give it oral. I don't but I do give maybe a cc or two extra. This is a VERY safe wormer and you can go a long way wrong and still be safe. Can't remember who it was but last year someone gave the pig that was a hundred pounds the syringe that was meant for something else which was big and no problems other than he got the poops!! I go by general looks of the pigs and add a little. Pigs that come in new get the initial dose and 14 days later they get it again. Pigs that have been here only get one dose in the Spring and Fall of the year.


Q: HI Phyllis-Just wanted to let you know how Hammie is doing. He is amazingly well, thank God. He is still a little disoriented pretty much all the time but unless you know him you can't tell. But he handles it really well & is eating & snooting me until I fall over just like his old self. Thank you for your help with him. H really is doing great, all considered. I have a problem here-everyone is suddenly getting mange. I am positive that is what it is so will be treating it accordingly, but do you have any idea how it is possible when there has been no exposure to any other animals since last September? I'm baffled. Also, what do you use to control flies? I clean all pens twice a day but the flies are bad still. I don't smell anything so I think they are after the water. I am nervous about using any chemicals but I need to do something. Those hanging fly traps are proving to be useless.

A: Glad to hear that Hammie is coming along OK. He is a very lucky pig to even be alive. Yes this is the season for mange...so is the fall time of the year. We do the Ivomectin treatment on all of ours twice yearly...once in the Spring and once in the Fall. They tell me that the bedding and grass can harbor the mange mite so even an animal that doesn't see other animals can come up with it. If its any consolation even house pigs get it. As for the fly problem....if you ever find a cure please let me know! We have tried about everything that is safe with only moderate success. For us it seems even worse because we have the cattle of the neighbors in our pasture to help keep it down. Nothing seems to draw flies better than cows!

Give Hammie a tummy rub for me and stay in touch OK?


Q: I was wondering if you could provide me with a capable vet in the Chicago area. I have phoned all of those on your list & only one still treats potbellies. Unfortunately, she's very flighty & about as knowledgeable as I am regarding pigs veterinary care. My potbelly has a pretty obvious case of sarcoptics & the vet is doing almost nothing for her. Please help me, I'm desperate. Thanks for your time, Cindy

A: Hi Cindy, sorry about the vets...seems they come and go a lot. There isn't much that's more important than a good vet. I will get on this and start checking around today for you. Did this vet Ivomec your pig for mange? Ivomectin is the drug of choice for mange with pig people and vets.

I do mine twice a year...Spring and Fall with it and we don't have mange problems here. You can buy Ivomectin for cattle and swine at most feed stores or farm supply stores. It's pretty expensive to buy a bottle for one pig (that's why we tell people to ask their vets for a couple of doses of it).

It is an injectable but we give it by mouth instead and it works just as well without the stress on the pigs of getting a shot. We draw up the amount we need in a syringe and just squirt it on the food or we take the needle off and shoot it in their mouths. Ivomectin takes care of mange, lice and worms the pigs all at the same time. If your girl has an active case of mange than it will take two treatments 14 days apart. Since its an internal medication you won't see results right away, so on pigs that come in here with an active case we Ivomec them first off but then we use a WEAKENED solution of dog dip (that says its for scarcoptic mange) in a spray bottle or wipe and wipe them down with that on the outside to help relieve the itching and kill some of the mites that are there until the Ivomectin can kick in.

Ivomectin also is in the paste that people use to worm their horses and can be found in tube fashion at most feed stores and places that sell things for horses. A lot of pig people use that for worming and mange twice yearly. Any brand name will do but we usually have the one called Zimecterin here for the horses and we have used that one once in a while. Have to admit I have never used the horse paste with one with an active case of mange but it's better than nothing. Ivomectin is extremely safe so that's not a problem.

Next thought would be call a farm vet that does farm animals and tell him your pig has mange and ASK for the Ivomectin for two doses. Farm vets are more likely to give it to you and they are very familiar with mange in pigs. (Although most hog farmers won't use the Ivomec because of the cost and they use a dip or powder instead) but if you ask for the Ivomec than they should be able to help you. I will check around today for a vet in the Chicago area that someone has used before...if we can't find one than you can always get her down here to mine, but I'm sure we can find one closer.


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Q: Thank you for your fast response about the worms that pigs get and how they get them and so on. I did order pig worm medicine from Pigs4ever.com. I will not give it to him if you do not advise it, being that he is now only 11 weeks old. My next question is. Our pig has a vet appointment on Friday for a general check up since he is new here and we do not really know what kind of environment he lived in previous to living with us, since I got him from a breeder at a flea market (I assume they are a back yard breeder since they told me that the pig will never need any medical attention at all, which I am finding out is NOT true). Anyway....the secretary said that he would be vaccinated for rabies. Is there a rabies vaccine for pigs? I just wondered if this is safe. I don't want any harm to come to our new friend Chopper. Please let me know if you have ever heard of a Rabies vaccine for pigs. Thank you for your time. Kristen

A: NO, there is no approved rabies vaccine for pigs. Unless your town demands it I wouldn't give it to him especially at that age. Some people that live in cities have to have it (don't ask me why since it doesn't have the desired effect on pigs like it does on dogs and cats but most people rather than argue the point get it for the city fathers?) This checkup would be a good time to ask for the Ivomectin injection for the lice, mange and worms though. Given by a vet it would be safe at this time. That is the only injection that I would give at that age.

We would not give ANY of the vaccinations at that age. But then my vet doesn't think that any of the vaccinations are really needed for house pets and these vaccines are made for large farm pigs not pots. There are NO vaccines made for Potbelly pigs. There have been some cases of pigs that were getting vaccinated yearly having some really bad reactions after a couple of years....seems the immune system on pigs is so good that you can only put so much in there before you get a bad reaction. So having said all that....If Chopper were here he would get a dose of Ivomectin from the vet on Friday and just a check up. (80 pigs and ten of them house pigs can't be all wrong!)


Q: I have a 4 mo. old piggy and it seems like he rubs himself too hard. He had a skinned leg because he rubbed so hard. I took him to the vet and he was tested for mites and it came back negative but he couldn't recommend anything to put on the wound. I put neosporin on it and a clean bandage. He kept it on for a while then got it off. I was wondering, did I do the right thing for this problem? I made sure he didn't lick any of it off so he wouldn't get sick. Is it normal for him to be rubbing so hard? If you can help me I would appreciate it.
Thank you Ruth

A: Ruth your pig has mites. They don't usually show on a skin scraping anyway, but we do the Ivomectin twice yearly on all the pigs here...Spring and Fall. Ask your vet to Ivomec the pig for you now and again in fourteen days then you won't have to do it till the Springtime. Ivomectin comes in injectable form, but can be given by mouth if you have the syringe to draw it out of the bottle with. We do all of ours by mouth just shooting it in the mouth or putting it on the food. Works just as well and gets lice, mange and worms all at the same time. You can buy it yourself at the farm stores but it's a little expensive to buy a whole bottle for one pig. Cheaper to let the vet do it by injection if he will do that for you. In the meantime to give him some relief you can dust him lightly with some Seven Seven dust like you would use in your garden if you have any. Just put some in your hand and rub it into the main areas ....this kills what it touches but not the larva. The Ivomectin is the safest all round thing for mange and worms. He should have it for worming even if he didn't have mange. There is no doubt that the mites is the reason for the itching....you will see a much improved pig after the Ivomectin works.


Q: Have you ever heard of anyone being allergic to their pig? I've had a rash ever since I got my baby and I've tried everything. I've bathed her made sure she's not running through the yard into anything like poison ivy. I have 2 PBP and I only seem to react to my younger one. I do cuddle her a lot because she likes to cuddle, so I've made sure to put a blanket between her an I. It seems her little hairs poke through things and poke my skin. Hopefully it's not her and it's something I can change. Thanks Corrine

A: I doubt if your allergic to the pig but I would recommend that you have her treated for mange. Sometimes the mange mites will cause what your describing.


Q: Hi my name is Kathy and I have 2 pot bellied pigs. They are just over a year old. My question is how often to worm them and with what do you suggest. The last time I had the vet out and they gave them shots. This seems like a lot for such a little thing. I would like to do this myself. I am familiar with worming horses and donkeys but not pigs. Could you give some information on this subject? Thank You Kathy

A: If you do horses and donkeys you can do pigs. You can either buy the injectable Ivomectin for swine at your local feed store and this can be given by mouth in a syringe. Draw up what you need and take the needle off and squirt it in their mouth or put in their dampened food. This is for the INJECTABLE ONLY. There is a pour on but you have to use that down their backs and it hasn't been approved for pigs just cattle. Or you can use the paste wormer that you use on the horses and adjust the dosage for the weight or approx weight of the pigs. Make sure it is the 1% Ivomectin paste. We Ivomec everyone twice a year...Spring and Fall....mainly because we try to keep mange from happening which the Ivomectin does. It takes care of worms, lice and mange.


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