Pot Bellied Pigs/Tiffiny

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Question
Hi, I got little Tiff from a friend and they told me she can basically eat anything that I eat, so when I cook she eats with us, oats cooked in the mornings and dog pellets through the day, but now reading a bit about them I was shocked that this is not true. And now Tiffy is not her self for a few days, she still eats the oats in the mornings but nothing else anymore, and she seems uncomfortable and are breathing heavy and will just stand and stare. She will come when you call her and do the little piggy souns and nose your leg like she is hungry but when I give her something she does not eat, please help! Is she sick of something I gave her?

Answer
Pigs are healthiest when they get a diet of mini pig pellets, fresh fruit and veggies, and grazing time outside. Pigs can eat anything that people eat, the problem is, they shouldn't. People food is high in fat, salt and sugar, compared to pig food and plain veggies. A short term diet of people food might give a piggy indigestion or constipation or diarrhea. Switching to plain fresh veggies and piggy pellets (served dry or moist) will fix things quickly. Long term complications, as in years of bad diet, are worse and harder to fix.

I am not a veterinarian and can not make a medical diagnosis over the internet. If Tiffany is very young, like under 3 months, she really should see a vet right away. Young piglets are fragile, and she may be ill.

Try offering her goat milk, Ensure or Boost, at room temperature.

The heavy breathing part is worrisome. If she was breathing normally, I'd consider things like constipation or testing boundaries. But, the heavy breathing could signal something seriously wrong, like heat stroke, heart attack, or even impending birth!

Young piglets need lots of warmth. But, sudden extreme heat can be a problem for an adult pig, and dangerous for a very old pig.

If she is constipated, try giving her canned pumpkin, then get her feet wet. Wet feet triggers an instinctive poop reaction in  pigs. Rides in cars also have a laxative effect on pigs that aren't used to rides.

There's a list of veterinarians who see pet pigs at www.farec.org along with lots of other info on diet and piggy care.

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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