DE-WORMING YOUR MINI PIG
Mini pigs should be dewormed on a regular basis for internal and external parasites. These parasites are common in the pigs environment, especially those that root and graze or spend time outdoors. They can contract parasites from soil, grazing, other pets, other pigs, eating bugs (including earthworms or mealworms), contact with hay, even if pig parents have horses or work in a barn they can bring parasites to their indoor pigs. Most of these parasites will show no symptoms until after they have taken a toll on your pig's health. Some of the parasites will not show up on a fecal exam.
A good schedule is Ivermectin twice yearly. A regular schedule of two broad-spectrum dewormers will kill the internal and external parasites your pigs are prone to. Dewormers can be found over the counter at local feed stores, Tractor Supply, or online at Amazon, Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, ect. This can be given orally (no need for stressful injections) at home.
Good for many internal parasites. Also good for mites and lice.
-Use 1% injectable form for horses, cows, or swine (Do not use paste wormers – they are too hard to dose)
-ORAL DOSE: 0.2 cc per 10 pounds of body weight.
-FREQUENCY: Repeat the 1 dose every 6 months if your pig grazes or lives outside. *If you think your pig has mange, do a second dose (same amount) 14 days later.
The injectable formula tastes bitter given orally so mix with food to cover the taste. This will ensure a stress free deworming, the pigs think they're getting a special treat. Mix with yogurt, canned pumpkin, apple sauce or squirt into a piece of bread, into a strawberry or grape... whatever their favorite food is. Can be used in pregnant & nursing pigs. Not recommended in piglets under 6 weeks.
We use an ivermectin generic made for swine 1% solution. You can get it online here. This is generic with the same main ingredient. You will need an insulin size syringe (1cc or 1ml) to measure up the tiny amount needed.
MINI PIG HOOF TRIMMING
A pig's hooves continue to grow throughout its life. In the wild, hooves are worn down by exposure to rough surfaces. If your pig does not have access to rough surfaces such as concrete, then their hooves need routine annual trimming. Untrimmed hooves can cause damage to leg bones and encourage cracks. Cracks in hooves become infected easily and may require antiseptic cleaning and antibiotic medication to prevent more serious conditions.
Get your piglet use to touching its feet by rubbing them when they are young and in your lap. Take a course Emory board the kind for artificial fingernails and file their hoof while they are sleeping in your lap. If you give belly rubs take advantage on rubbing their hooves and pulling on their legs at this time. It is so much better for you and your pig if you start young with their hoof care. If you don’t then as they get older you may have to take them to the vet and have them sedated for their hoof trim. That is rough on both of you.
MINI PIG SKIN, HAIR, EYES & EARS
Pigs have naturally dry skin. It is not necessary to give your pig a bath. In fact it should not be done as it will take the natural oils off their skin. Our pigs have only had a handful of baths. They do get hosed down or brushed off when they get muddy. If you choose to put a lotion or oil on your pig please do so sparingly as they can clog pores and make the skin greasy or worse. We have found using Organic coconut oil works best topically. Try treating from the inside out as well, with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Organic Coconut Oil.
We love Vetericyn Wound & Skin Care! it works really well, and being a spray is super easy to apply to your pig.
MINI PIG HAIR CARE
Pigs have hair and not fur. It is very tough and hard, but it is hair.
Your mini pig will most likely shed or "blow its coat" at least once a year. Some will do this twice a year. They may lose their hair all at once or in stages. Once this shedding starts you can easily pull the hair out by the handfuls to help your pig along. This usually happens sometime in the Spring when the weather starts turning warm.
When your pig is loosing its hair it will itch terribly. You may notice him running around trying to itch on trees, walls, furniture, your leg, other pets, whatever is around!! Just help your pig along by pulling any loose hair. It will come out very easily. Also, good scratching and/or brushing a few times a day will be appreciated. I would do this outside if I were you unless you have your vacuum cleaner handy.
EYES AND EARS
Mini pigs have very poor eyesight. In fact, many new pig parents believe something is wrong because they do not seem to be able to see very well. Well, this is true.
Most pigs will have runny eyes that produce sticky, brownish tears. A little of this is normal. You can wipe away the goo with a warm damp cloth. You may even find their blankets, sheets, or whatever you give them to sleep in with wet spots from their eyes. Again, this is pretty much normal and pigs in very dusty areas are more prone to this.
Some pigs are prone to eye problems such as entropion. This is when the eyelashes lay on the eye. This condition is correctable by minor surgery.
Pigs ears sometimes will get a little wax build-up. This is normal!
DO NOT try to clean deep inside your pig's ear. When the build-up gets bad on my pigs' ears I just use my finger under a baby wipe to scrape it out, being careful not to let any of the gunk fall back into the ear. But, I do not use any type of foreign object or ear cleaner. It is not necessary.
That 'stuff' that builds up is their natural defense against dust, particles and tiny insects getting too far into their ears.
DO NOT put any liquids in your pig's ear EVER! This can get in their inner ear and cause them to have a head tilt, putting them off balance. If liquid gets into your pig's ears, it can cause serious problems.
NOTE: If you are going to hose your pig down to cool them off during hot days, make sure you do not allow the stream of water near their ears or face
All pigs grow tusks. Although neutered and spayed pigs do not get large tusks. DO NOT have anyone remove the tusks!! They are part of the jawbone and removal will cause serious problems! If at all possible, avoid trimming your male's tusks.
BATHING YOUR MINI PIG
We suggest only washing your piggy if they need it. However, if you are supplementing with a spoon of wheat germ oil per day to keep their skin and coat healthy and soft, then you may bathe more often. Since a pigs body temp is normally 102 they like their water pretty warm!!
A good way to start your piggy off with baths is just placing him or her in a the empty tub so he/she can get comfortable. Then start off with just a tiny amount of shallow water in the bottom of the tub. Only enough to wet their hooves. Put Cheerios in the bath with your pig and peanut butter smeared on the wall of the tub side they are facing. The cheerios will float on top of the water and keep your pig's attention occupied while you bathe him and same goes for the peanut butter. Put a non-slip bath mat under your pig when bathing so he doesn't loose his footing. Apply oil to your pig's dry skin AFTER the bath, we like to use organic coconut oil... and the piggies LOVE the taste! Don't bathe him or her too much. Too many baths can lead to or worsen a dry skin condition with your pig. Use a gentle shampoo like Johnson's Baby Shampoo, diluted with water and scrub with a soft grooming brush.
PET MINI PIG EMERGENCY SUPPLY LIST
Its a good idea to have a small box full of things you may need for your mini pig. Needless syringes, Kids Benadryl, Kids Asprin, ect... it would be good to have something like this on hand in case of an emergency.
Please refer to the list below for some ideas :)
WHEN TO CALL A VETERNARIAN
• Persistent vomiting for more than 24 hours (especially if yellow)
Not eating (no interest in feed)
Having trouble breathing
• Off feed for more than 24 hours
Shaking violently - is stiff, or is moving in circles
• A temperature of more than 103 degrees, or less than 99
• Diarrhea for more than 24 hours
• Constipation for more than 48 hours
• Lying down for more than 8 hours
• Unwillingness to rise
• Painful abdomen
• Persistent bleeding
• Blood in stool
• Seen eating something potentially poisonous or obstructive
• Sudden behavioral changes
• Rapid breathing
• Persistent lameness
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
California Emergency# UC Davis Clinic 530-752-0290
Animal Poison Control Center ASPCA - 888-426-4435 $65 fee consult
AFTER HOUR CLINICS THAT SEE PIGS:
Banning Veterinary Hospital: (951) 849-38643559
W Ramsey St Ste E, Banning, CA 92220
Mon-Fri 8am-11pm Sat 8am-12noon closed Sunday
Garden Grove office: (714) 462-1829 (call first)
12750 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Fullerton office: (714) 681-1979
3920 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92835
PAIN AND FEVER
Tylenol Children's liquid: 1ml per 6 pounds of body weight (with food) every 8 hours for 3 days max.
Buffered aspirin: 5 mg per pound of body weight twice a day. Must be buffered and given with food. Do not give if your pig is not eating and do not give for more than 3 days without seeing your vet
Ivermectin 1% injectable for swine (Can be given on food) 0.2 ml per 10 pounds of body weight
Children's Benadryl: 1 mg per lb body weight (every 6-8 hours)
Dramamine 4 mg per lb every 8 hours
Omprazole / Prilosec - 5-10 mg once a day
Famotidine / Pepcid - 0.25-0.5 mg per pound of bodyweight
Ranitidine / Zantac - 150 mg twice a day
Pepto bismol - 1 cc per pound of body weight - may make the stool black
Kaopectate - 1 cc per pound of body weight - may make the stool black
Maalox liquid (for stomach gas) - 2 cc per 5 pounds of body weight
Metamucil – start with 1 tbsp power in yogurt every 6 hours. Gradually build up to 1 packet every 6 hours
DSS / docusate sodium (stool softener) - 200-240 mg per pig twice a day
Canned pumpkin (start with ¼ can 2 times a day)
SUDDEN ILLNESS, ERYSIPELAS, PNEMONIA
Injectable penicillin - dose depends on ailment
SUPPLIES TO HAVE ON HAND
Mineral oil - constipation: Can be given orally
Children's suppositories or enema - constipation
Activated charcoal -to use after ingestion of toxic foods ONLY under advice of veterinarian
Hydrogen peroxide 3% - to induce vomiting ONLY under advice of veterinarian
Triple antibiotic ointment
Vaseline - to lube thermometer or ears of pig before introductions
Thermometer (for rectal use) Rubbing alcohol - to swab before injections
Syringes of different sizes, needle and oral - to administer vaccines, antibiotics, dewormers
Styptic powder - for hoof bleeding during trim
Superglue - for hoof bleeding during trim
Cotton balls - for hoof bleeding during trim
Ice packs or frozen veggies like peas
Fan - to cool an overheated pig
Heating pad, microwavable rice sock, or water bottle with warm water
Qtips - to clean outside of ear
Crate, ramp, sling, anything you need to move a sick or immobile pig PLAN AHEAD!
FOODS TO HAVE ON HAND
Canned pumpkin - tummy upset, treats diarrhea or constipation
Coconut water - encourages hydration during times of stress or illness
Fruit juice 100%, no sugar added - encourages hydration during times of stress or illness
Low sodium chicken broth - encourages hydration during times of stress or illness
Karo Syrup or honey - to increase blood sugar levels quickly and encourage eating
FOR PIGS THAT HAVE INGESTED POISON
1) Call poison control (ASPCA NATIONAL ANIMAL POISON CONTROL (available 24 hours a day. There is a fee, so have credit card ready) 1-800-548-2423)
2) Hydrogen Peroxide 3% (in the brown bottle, for wounds – not the full strength stuff used to bleach hair) can be given orally (by syringe) to induce vomiting (dose: approximately 5cc per 10 pounds of bodyweight)
3) Syrup of ipecac – 1 tablespoonful per pig, orally to induce vomiting
++++warning – vomiting is not always good after a pig ingests a poison. Call poison control or your ER first+++++
4) Activated charcoal – adheres to any toxin left in the digestive tract and prevents pig from absorbing it – get the liquid or powdered form, the tablets/granules are not nearly as effective. Watch out – this stuff is messy and will stain anything cloth forever. Comes out in the stool and the stool will also stain everything. Dose: adult pigs (over 30 pounds – 0.5 ml per pound of body weight) young pigs (less than 30 pounds – 0.1 ml per pound of body weight. Can be repeated in 8 hours.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A BLADDER INFECTION
A urinary tract infection may include some, all, or none of these symptoms. Different pigs with a UTI may show different symptoms or overlapping symptoms based on the severity of infection, their overall health, and their tolerance or irritation with the infection. Anytime a UTI is suspected please take a urine sample to the veterinarian’s office to be evaluated. This can be obtained from sticking a Tupperware, a pan, or a ladle in the stream while they urinate. If they potty outside it’s easiest to catch the urine if you have them on a leash so you can be close by when they squat. Urinary tract infections can be brought on by a number of factors: hormonal changes (heat cycle), stress, other infections, strain on the body such as healing from surgery, bladder stones or kidney stones, and sometimes factors that we can’t see will play a role. Never assume your pig doesn’t have a UTI when something is “off”.
-Urinating on bedding or urinating while sleeping
-Urinating in several spots during the same potty break
-Straining to urinate
-Change in water consumption
-Change in urination frequency, odor, and color
-In case a urinary tract infection is suspected, veterinary care is required. Take your pig to the vet or catch a urine sample and drop off at the vet’s office (store in the refrigerator until sample can be taken to clinic; obtain one as fresh as possible). They can analyze the urine for abnormalities and infection. In case of infection, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF FEVER
Fevers result when a pig has an infection (viral, bacterial), an inflammation (allergies, malignant hyperthermia), or an intoxication (ingestion of some toxins, bites from some snakes or bugs). Often, the fever has a purpose in the body – most bacteria or viruses can only live in a narrow temperature range, so the body, as a defense, raises the temperature to try to wipe out the invading infection. So, fevers can be a good thing.
If your pig has a temperature above 104, it should be seen by your veterinarian right away.
If your pig has a temperature of 103-104 for more than 72 hours, it should be seen by your veterinarian.
Until You Can Get To Your Vet
Increase fluid intake – mix ¼ prune, apple, or cranberry juice with ¾ water.
Offer Gatorade, mixed ½ Gatorade with ½ water. Offer ice cubes or popsicles.
Environmental cooling – have ice packs wrapped in small towels in bed for the pig to lay on if it wants to. Put rubbing alcohol on its feet for evaporative cooling. Use cool, but not cold cloths on head, neck, and abdomen. Avoid bathing your pig at this time.
NO ASPIRIN– some conditions that cause fever, such as erysipelas, cause a disruption in blood clotting in the body. Aspirin makes this worse.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) 5 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours for no more than 3 days. If fever persists past 3 days, see a veterinarian. Always give with a small meal/food.
FEVER IN VERY YOUNG PIGS CAN BE VERY SERIOUS – IT CAN INDICATE PNEUMONIA, WHICH CAN BE FATAL IN A VERY SHORT TIME. YOUNG PIGS (UNDER 5 MONTHS) WITH FEVER SHOULD SEE A VETERINARIAN RIGHT AWAY.
WHAT TO DO FOR VOMITING PIG
Pigs Will Vomit For A Number Of Reasons
They eat things that upset their stomachs.
They gorge on things they should not eat.
Some infections cause vomiting.
Some toxins cause vomiting.
Organ based disease such as liver or kidney disease.
Pain is a big cause of vomiting in the post-operative pig.
Some causes of vomiting are very serious, some are not.
If your pig is vomiting, and you do not know the reason, SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN. If there is an underlying cause, such as liver disease or pain, the vomiting will continue until the underlying cause is taken care of.
FIRST AID FOR VOMITING PIG TILL YOU CAN GET TO THE VET
Withhold food and water for 6 hours to let the stomach rest. Giving food or water right after vomiting will cause more vomiting. In pigs under 10 pounds, rub some Karo syrup or sugar water (1 tsp sugar in 1 cup warm water) on their gums every hour or so to prevent dips in blood sugar.
After 6 hours, offer a small amount of water – no more than ¼ cup. If the pig refuses to drink, it is still nauseated, so don’t force it. See your veterinarian. If it drinks, wait an hour to make sure it keeps it down, then offer ½ cup every hour for 6 hours. If no vomiting, return to free choice water.
If there is no vomiting 1 hour after the pig drinks water, offer a small meal of soft food (soaked pellets, rice cereal made with water not milk, applesauce, mashed potatoes, that sort of thing). Wait 1 hour to see if vomiting occurs. If vomiting starts again, withhold food and water and see a veterinarian. If no vomiting, offer small soft meals hourly.
Over a few days, increase the size of the meal but decrease the frequency, until you are on a normal schedule. Feed soft food for about a week and then return to normal diet, schedule, and amounts
FOR A PIG WHO HAS GORGED ON FOOD
REMEMBER: PIGS WILL EAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. In extreme cases, they will eat things that cannot pass out of their stomach and that will cause “pig bloat.” Under these circumstances, only surgical removal of the objects will help. So, IF YOU ARE CONCERNED OR IF YOU THINK YOUR PIG ATE SOMETHING IT CANNOT DIGEST OR PASS, PLEASE SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN RIGHT AWAY. IF YOUR PIG IS STAGGERING, FALLING OVER, OR ACTING DRUNK IN Anyway, IT IS AN EMERGENCY AND IT SHOULD BE SEEN BY YOUR VETERINARIAN RIGHT AWAY.If your pig gorges on pig pellets, dog food, cat food, bread, cereal, corn chips, that sort of thing: there are several concerns.
The stomach is too full – These pigs will have a bloated looking abdomen, they will drool, they may vomit, and they will be painful and restless. It will be hard for them to lay down. These pigs may vomit food for up to 12 hours after gorging. Pigs vomit fairly easily, so do not be alarmed if they vomit and empty the stomach. All this food has to go somewhere.
Do not feed them for 12 – 24 hours – so that their stomach will empty. And yes, some of them will continue to eat (because they are pigs).
Small frequent amounts of water for the first 6 hours. (1/4 cup every 15 minutes). If you allow them to tank upon all the water they can drink, the water can cause the food-stuffs in their stomachs to swell. If they cannot vomit up the swelling food, the stomach can rupture. Small and frequent is the way to go!
After 6 hours, free choice water.
Salt poisoning – if your pig ate a lot of a high salt food, such as pretzels, corn chips, margarita salt (yes they will eat this), road salt, and such, you can try to induce vomiting to get the food up. Syrup of ipecac L I tablespoonful may induce vomiting. Hydrogen peroxide (3% — for wounds, not the 20+% for bleaching hair) – 2 tablespoons orally may induce vomiting. If you do not get vomiting after 30 minutes – go to your veterinarian. This is an emergency
Alcohol poisoning – breads ferment in the stomach to produce gas (be prepared for burping and lots of intestinal gas (dare I say farting?) and alcohol. This alcohol can cause drunkenness (which is hard to distinguish from salt poisoning) and liver failure.