Pot Bellied Pigs/Sunburn?


QUESTION: I just got a baby pot belly pig, about 10 weeks old, from a girl who got him & couldn't keep him so she was just gonna drop him off at a shelter. Admittedly, I don't know much. We have a farm, but keep steers, horses, goats- things of the like. I took him because I hate seeing animals live in shelters & he is adorable.
"Hammy" is living in my house, but it was so nice yesterday & today he hung outside with us all day... Now he won't let me scratch his head like he usually loves or even pet him, except for on his lower back where there is more hair. He is bright red. I feel horrible & don't know if there is anything I can do to relieve it? I looked up all other ailments, conditions, & diseases of pigs & can't find any other symptoms that coincide with anything but sunburn.
I haven't been able to find much of a definite answer of anything I can do for him so I thought I'd ask. I have been looking for a vet who specializes in PBP, but haven't had much luck yet (I've only had him for 5 days) so I thought I'd try here.
Thank you very much for your time. I truly appreciate it. I should have known better being as my horses can get sunburn but I just didn't think about it, & now I feel terrible. I just don't want to use anything on him that might make it worse.
Thanks again,
Ami Werkheiser

ANSWER: Pig skin is very similar to human skin. It's so similar that pig skin is often used to treat human burn victims.

You can use any lotion for people on your pig. Pigs, unlike dogs and cats, will not lick themselves.

There's a list of vets that see pet pigs, and lots of other pig info, at www.farec.org Another good source of pig info is pigs4ever.com

Young pigs are more likely to burn. Burns are easy to see on white pigs but can be hard to see on a black pig, or on the black spots, but it's still burnt.

Pigs heal quickly and piggy should be fine in a day or two at most. The only possible complication is Dippity Pig. Dippity is a skin condition that lasts 24 - 72 hours. It starts suddenly, and is very painful because the piggy "dips" or drops his hindquarters. Oozing welts or blisters may appear.

Luckily, Dippity vanishes as fast as it comes. It can occur in pigs of any age, but is most common in pigs age 2 and under. It happens most often in spring, but can happen at any time of the year. Two possible triggers might be stress or sudden intense sun exposure.

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QUESTION: Thank you so very much! I ended up putting coconut oil on him since that is what I use for myself & my children, & it's all natural so I figured it wouldnt hurt.
I do have one extra question- since summer is coming would it benefit him to use a natural sunblock? I use (again) virgin coconut oil on my boys, myself, & my horses to block out bad rays during the summer- would it be beneficial to use it in him to? I figured it won't hurt since its very good for dry skin so at the least it would help with his itchiness. Thanks again for your time & sorry to bother you with my lack of knowledge.

Pigs invented the ultimate natural sun block - mud! Most pigs love to roll in mud or dust. Yes, this makes them dirty, but it also helps protect their skin from excessive sun exposure.

Piggy's skin will quickly acclimate to the sun, and sun exposure helps pigs make vitamin D and grow strong bones.

Make sure piggy always has access to shade. Most pigs like to take afternoon naps in the shade. Coconut oil probably won't make a difference as far as sun exposure is concerned, but will make a nice moisturizer

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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