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Pot Bellied Pigs/Aggression After Sedation


I have 2 pot-bellied pigs: a 2.5 year old female and a 1.5 year old male (both have been fixed).  They have gotten along very well since I brought the male home to live with us (snuggle together every single night). They are getting too big to transport to the vet and needed to have their hooves trimmed, so the vet came to the house. Unfortunately, they gave sedation by needle (no iso gas) this time. They were out in their pen upon waking from sedation (she awoke first). Since waking, she has been completely aggressive towards the male (I was unaware that night they were fighting in the pen, because I couldn't hear from my room). He is terrified of her now! If he goes anywhere near her she flips right out. This has gone on for  2 full days now. What can I do? Will they ever be friendly again?

Yes, they will be friendly again, but it will take a little while. I suspect the vet used Ketamine, which a pretty strong hallucinogen. It's sometimes sold on the street as "Special K".

Is your girl a little on the chubby side? Injectable drugs flush faster out of lean bodies and slowly out of fatty tissue. In very overweight pigs it can take days for anesthesia drugs to wear off completely.

If her hooves were trimmed very short, sore feet may be contributing to her grumpiness.

Give the boy a separate sleeping area. Feed them on separate sides of the pen. Take a little vanilla, the stuff used in baking, and sprinkle some on BOTH pigs. Pigs love the smell of vanilla, and it may help smooth things over. Sprinkle some on both beds, too.

Sit in the pen with them, give them both a couple of treats, then just spend time talking to them and giving them belly rubs.

In the meantime, do not interfere with the pig squabbles. It's hard to watch, but there's only two ways to resolve it. One is to keep one or both pigs at your side 24/7, the other is to let them work it out between themselves.

Their pen is their safe space, and it has been violated in a dramatic way, compounded with the after effects of the drugs. I prefer to restrain pigs for hoof trimming. It's a lot harder to do and requires several strong people, but when the trimming is done the pig gets up and walks away as if nothing has ever happened.

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison


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!


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

Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

BBA from KSU

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