Mini-pig Day is coming up on November 4th. Mini-pigs have been gaining in popularity over the past several years, and with good reason. These guys are not only super cute, they’re also very smart and fun. Of course, like any other animal, they go through changes as they age, and need some extra care in their golden years. A Wichita, KS vet discusses caring for a senior mini-pig below.
Generally, the lifespan of a potbellied pig is about 10 to 15 years. However, ‘teacup’ pigs often have much shorter lives. Many of them only live about 5 years or so. This is because of the practices used to keep them unnaturally small, which include inbreeding and, unfortunately, malnutrition. Of course, the average lifespan of a typical livestock pig is much shorter than that. Therefore, you may find it difficult to find information and products aimed at the care of older pigs. Ask your vet for care tips.
As with any other animal, it’s always beneficial when medical issues are caught early on. Once Porky reaches his senior years, he’ll probably need to come at least every six months for exams and testing. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as tumors, lethargy, reduced appetite, and weight loss. Call us immediately if anything seems off.
Regular hoof trims are a must! Overgrown hooves can cause or contribute to several very painful issues, such as laminitis and abscesses. They can also make walking both painful and difficult for your porcine pal. Dental care is also important.
Keeping Porky comfortable is key. Your little buddy will enjoy a soft bed. If your pig stays inside, you may need to add carpets or runners to provide traction. Sometimes little things can make a big difference!
Pay close attention to Porky’s weight! Obesity can cause or contribute to many different health problems, including arthritis and heart disease. Measure portions carefully, and choose healthy options, such as dark green veggies, rather than sugary snacks. Foraging for food can also provide entertainment and enrichment. Rather than feed your pet in a bowl, you may want to scatter the food, or use foraging toys. Ask your vet for specific advice, including serving sizes, suitable snacks, and switching to a senior-formula food.
Do you have questions about mini-pig care? Contact us, your Wichita, KS animal clinic, today!