Pot Bellied Pigs/Weak Hind Legs



I have a question about my Juliana pig, Ruben. He is about a year old and is an indoor pig with a regular diet of mini pig food and fruit. Two Sundays ago, he started falling out of nowhere. His hind legs would just give out and he seemed to be in pain when this happened-- but he would get up right away and act like nothing happened. Unfortunately, this happened on a Sunday so everywhere was closed. By the end of the day, Ruben was back to normal and was no longer falling down. We set up an appointment anyway and our vet (who may or may not know what he's doing, he says he does but he doesn't act like it) and he gave us anti-inflammatory medicine but other than that told us he did not know what had happened.

After two weeks of being healthy, Ruben has started falling again. His hind legs fall out from under him and he squeals but gets up again like nothing's happened. This time, he is having a harder time getting up on his own after his butt drops to the floor.

Like the last time this happened, I gave Ruben's weight's dose of infant ibuprofen to him for the pain. My family and I are trying to figure out why this is happening again and the only similarity we can think of between today and two weeks ago was how long he was out grazing. The first time this happened he had been out for about forty-five minutes, and today he was out for an hour. Do you think there is a weed he is getting into that could cause this? Are pigs allergic to something that could make this happen? He has been out many times and grazed for long periods of time and this has never happened before except for two weeks ago and today. The only other thing I can think of is that he needs an upgraded crate. His current one is a little small for him since he's grown but he can still turn around in it and I can't see how that would cause something like this.

Do you have any ideas as to what this might be so I can raise the possibilities to his vet this week when he goes in for another appointment?

Thank you for any insight you might have to share.

I am not a veterinarian and can not make a medical diagnosis over the internet.

I can think of three main possibilities. He injured and maybe re-injured back, he is hurting from over grazing, or it's a form of Dippity Pig.

Pigs have stiff backbones, especially compared to dogs and cats. Pigs tend to bloat when they graze, this could be causing him to throw out his back. Other possibilities include twisting his back going up or down stairs, sliding on a slippery surface, getting stuck in mud, or accidentally falling.

The side effects from eating way too much grass at once include bloating and gas. This can be really painful, maybe so uncomfortable it is affecting his ability to walk.

Dippity pig is a very painful skin condition, that usually includes bruises, welts or open sores. The pig drops  or "dips" his butt to try to get away from the pain. It comes on suddenly and usually disappears within 48 hours. Exposure to sunlight can trigger Dippity in sensitive pigs.

Pot Bellied Pigs

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.