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Pot Bellied Pigs/Mini pig grinding teeth

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Question
Hi my mini pig Mabel has been grinding her teeth for the past few days. She is 16 months old. I noticed a few drops of blood come from her mouth and then later that day she started to grind her teeth. I thought it was probably a loose baby tooth but she won't let me look in her mouth. But the grinding has kept up for about 4 or 5 days. Do you think it is just a loose tooth or is it something I need to see the vet about?
Thank you
Liz

Answer
Pigs get three sets of teeth in their lives, the last molars don't erupt until piggy is about 2-1/2 years old. So chances are piggy is getting some new teeth right now.

Blood is the worrisome symptom. Pigs grind their teeth for many, many reasons. They grind their teeth when they are getting ready for a nap, or are angry, or when something is stuck in their mouth, or when they are hungry, or smell food, or are just thinking about food. They grind their teeth just because they can, and some people think their pig does it because the pig knows it is annoying.

Teething is uncomfortable and takes some time. The old tooth has to loosen and fall out, the new tooth must force it's way through the gum, and finally, the gum has to heal. It isn't uncommon for the gum to bleed a little, but the bleeding should stop fairly quickly. The discomfort will last a while, so the pig will grind his teeth for awhile.

Another possible explanation for blood and grinding is something stuck in the teeth or the gap around the gums. In an old pig, these symptoms might signal an oral cancer, but your pig is far too young for that.

Try messing with piggy at nap time. Coat your finger with syrup, honey, or sugar, so piggy won't be so upset about it. Stick your finger in his mouth and feel around. If piggy is small and you have big hands, use your little pinky finger.  

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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

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BBA from KSU

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