Today, March 1st, is Pig Day! More and more people are keeping pigs these days, whether as pets or as part of a homesteading lifestyle. Pigs may very well be one of the most misunderstood animals. They’re much more intelligent than many people realize, and can really make fun and loving pets. Like any other animal, they are susceptible to illness and disease. It’s important to watch for warning signs. A Wichita, KS veterinarian lists some key ones below.
Lack Of Appetite
While the phrases about eating like a pig may not really be fair, it is true that healthy pigs have healthy appetites. If Porky isn’t interested in dinner, take a closer look at him. An increase or decrease in water intake is also a concern.
Pigs actually have very distinctive personalities. Pay attention to Porky, and get to know his usual demeanor. If he starts acting cranky, there may be something wrong.
Porky should breathe smoothly and easily. Coughing, wheezing, panting, and/or gasping are all indications that something is wrong.
It’s a good idea to inspect Porky daily. Discharge from the eyes, ears, nose, rectum, or vulva are definite red flags.
Pigs are very sociable animals. If Porky is the only pig you have, he may bond with another animal, such as a duck, cat, or even a turtle. A pig that is acting withdrawn or isolated may be ill.
Limping or moving stiffly is a sign of pain, and is something to be taken seriously. In older pigs, this is often a sign of arthritis.
Patchiness and thinning of your pig’s hair can also be a red flag. Porky may also seem itchy.
Changes In Waste
Changes in your pig’s urine or feces are definite signs of trouble. This can include dark urine, constipation, diarrhea, and/or difficulty going.
Pay attention to how your pig walks or stands. If Porky is standing in a hunched or stiff position, there may be something wrong.
Pigs should be active and alert. Porky may like to nap, but he should pop up for meals, or if he thinks you have a treat. If your pig is just lying around listlessly, he could be sick.
Contact your vet if you notice any of these issues. As your Wichita, KS animal clinic, we’re here to help!