Just like humans, pot belly pigs are susceptible to illness, especially in the winter time. Here are some tips about what to look for and what to do if you pot belly pig does fall ill sometime during the winter season.
• A sick pig looks and acts sick. Usually sick pigs will have hair that stands on end all over, like a porcupine if they are ill. Also if your pig is not eating as much as usual, he may be sick. Pigs are not picky eaters, so if you notice yours has become uninterested in food, there may be trouble.
• If your pig is standing with his back hunched and his hind legs under the body, he is sick. This is a common stance that is seen with blockage, stomach aches, hernias, constipation, urinary tract problems and more.
• The most common problem with pot belly pigs is respiratory problems. There are a few different forms of pneumonia that can affect your pig, all of which can become serious if left untreated. Many times pneumonia is accompanied by coughing, but not in all cases. Another symptom is not eating and a high temperature.
• If your pig does have pneumonia, an antibiotic can be given and your pig will most likely be eating again by the following day.
• Another common problem with pigs is constipation, especially if your pig is older. This can be a serious problem if you do not pay attention to symptoms early. If your pig is not eating as much or straining to do his business, you can mix a tablespoon of oil with his food to help. Canned pumpkin and apple sauce also help. If these things do not help, contact your vet.
• If your pig is running a temperature of 102 or higher, you must call a vet immediately.
In most cases, with the right tender love and care, your pot belly pig will recover from his illness and be back to his regular self quickly. However, remember that you are the best judge when it comes to figuring out if there is a serious problem with your pot belly pig. You are the person who interacts with him every day. If his behaviors change, do not ignore the signs. When found right away, treatments can be given to your pot belly pig to minimize suffering and make him feel as good as new.