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Pot Bellied Pigs/Piggy Peeing Issues

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Question
Dear Helen,
I have a 9 month old, neutered Juliani-mix piggy.  I got him when he was 16 weeks old.  He house-trained himself instantly and never made any mistakes for months.  I used a training pad in a frame which he walked onto and peed and pooped.  In the past two months he has been guzzling water and peeing profusely...but not on his pee pad.  He now has chosen the carpet under the dining room table.  At times he'll even pee on the floor where he is standing.  He's peeing 4-6 times an hour.  I'll take him outside to pee, he'll pee and then come in and 5 -10 minutes later he'll pee again.  I took him to the vet and had his urine checked...no protein, no bacteria, no sugar ...just very low specific gravity.  I think he said it was 1.000.  Pig Newton sleeps with me and manages to hold his urine all night long and rarely has accidents at night.  He used to get up in the middle of the night with me to pee but has since not been interested.  He never pees on the bed or the carpets in the bedroom.  He had one accident on a bath mat. He has a kiddy foldable play pen that I feed him in and it, too has a litter box with a pad...he uses that as well.  This morning he urinated so much in the box that I was able to fill a jar with approximately 8 ounces of urine.  I've put pads under the table after cleaning the carpets.  I've tried taking him outside every 30 minutes and he usually pees...quite a bit.  If I give him a bowl of water he'll drink the entire bowl.  Lately he's not only drinking the water but blowing bubbles in it as well (which is kind of cute lol).  I got him in May and it wasn't until the end of August or the beginning of September that this began and it continues to get worse.  I try to portion his water but feel bad limiting that as I know it's important.  He is harness trained and wears it all day.  Right now he's sleeping in his little bed in the living room (he never pees in there).  I am very worried about my little fellow.  He is a very healthy piggy otherwise. No hair loss, a little dry skin occasionally..he's alert, eats well, poops well (always outside) and really has no other issues.  The vet told me the next step would be to take some blood and he suggested that we would have to gas him to do so since it would be such a frightening ordeal for him.
Please advise.  I love this little boy and am at my wits end trying to figure out what to do.  I've read your other suggestions and have implemented some of your techniques.  He almost always pees when I take him outside but, like I said, he will come in and pee again within 15 minutes.  He runs for the water bowl ... lately I've been leaving it empty and filling it with a little water after his meals and during the day to try to control his consumption.  Please if you have any more suggestions ... it' getting worse.  What to do? What to do?
Thank you so much,
Aimee

Answer
Excessive, compulsive water drinking is often caused by water deprivation. Pigs subject to long term water deprivation will often pee while drinking.

Pigs love to play in water and blow bubbles. That's normal.

Pigs can be picky about litter boxes. A box must be big enough for the pig to turn around in, and assume the position. Male pigs like to stand with their feet apart, so there has to be enough room for that. The bottom must be non-slip, and one side must be cut low so the pig does not have to step up to step in.

I'll bet if you put a litter box like this under the dining room table, he'll use it. That's because pigs pick a spot to potty, they don't associate potty with objects like litter boxes.

Clean the area under the table with any quality product deigned to remove pet odors, and keep him away from that spot. This might mean putting up a physical barrier, like bird netting. Pigs have long memories, he will remember peeing there for months to come.

To reprogram his water drinking habits, keep a small amount of water in the bowl at all times. If he wants a slurp or two, it's there. You can also mix his pellets with water, this will help him feel less thirsty.

In the morning, take him to pee as soon as he wakes up. Give him a big bowl of water, let him have at it, and feed him breakfast. When he's finished with breakfast, take him to potty, and make sure he goes. Fifteen minutes to 1/2 hour later, take him back to pee again, and make sure he pees. If you can, repeat this at lunch and dinner. What should happen (hopefully) is that between the extra moisture in wet feed, and the ability to have a couple of swallows of water when his mouth is dry, will keep him from feeling dehydrated and obsessing over water. Taking him to potty often after he's consumed a lot of water will help him avoid accidents. After a couple of weeks or so, he will hopefully loose interest in slurping up vast amounts of water at a time.

You mention that he pees when you take him out. One trick is to make him pee again before he comes inside. For many house pigs, coming inside is a bit of a ritual. Go potty, come inside, get the feet wiped off.  

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison

Expertise

Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!

Experience

Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Organizations
Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

Education/Credentials
BBA from KSU

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