Posted on: 2 March 2016Share
Broken bones are a big problem for potbellied pigs. Breaks in the bones of the legs or back are common, so potbellied pig owners need to be aware of these injuries. Here are three things potbellied pig owners need to know about broken bones.
What are the signs of broken bones?
Lameness is a sign that your pig may have a broken bone. Lameness refers to diminished function or an abnormal gait. For example, if you notice that your pig is limping, walking stiffly, holding one of their legs off the ground when they walk, or refusing to walk at all, they are experiencing lameness and may have a broken bone.
In addition to lameness, your pig may squeal, cry out, or make other unusual noises. These noises indicate that your pet is in pain.
Lameness and pain can have many causes, so your vet will need to perform tests to check for the presence of broken bones. Your pig will be sedated to keep them calm and still, and then your vet will take x-rays of your pig's body. These x-rays will then be examined for signs of fractures. If a fracture is identified, treatment can begin.
How do vets treat broken bones?
When pigs break their bones, they require surgery to stabilize the fractures. Your pig will be sedated and then anesthetized to ensure they calmly sleep through the whole procedure. Your vet will then make an incision to access the broken bone. Devices like pins, plates and screws will be used to hold the fractured bone in place while it heals. In some cases, a cast will be used in addition to surgery to ensure that the bones heal properly.
Once your pig is sent home, you'll need to keep them comfortable while they heal. Set up a designated recovery room in your house so that your pig has their own space while they're healing. Line the floor with blankets and towels to make a soft surface, and ensure that food and water bowls are easily accessible. If your pig gets too restless and won't relax, they may need to be tranquilized to help them lie down and recover.
How can you keep your potbellied pig safe?
To keep your potbellied pig safe from broken bones, you need to make their environment as safe as possible. Stairs are a major hazard, so if you can afford it, build a ramp for your pig. You should also provide ramps beside your couch, bed, and any other furniture that your pig likes to jump onto to prevent further fractures.
If you think your potbellied pig has a broken bone, take them a clinic like Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists & 24-Hour Emergency Hospital.