Friday, March 10, 2017

Dippity Pig Syndrome



What is Dippity Pig? Dippity Pig is the name given to the condition that happens when our pigs seem loose control of their back legs and "dip" their backs screaming in pain. Some pigs will also have circular type lesion(s) along the spine of their back. Dippity Pig is now also referred to as Bleeding Back Syndrome and Erythema Miltiforme.

Though Dippity Pig can happen anytime of the year it is most common in the spring when temperatures are changing; meaning it is warming quickly with nice sunny days when most days have been cloudy.

It is scary to watch, but if you know what is happening to your pig and why, you will be prepared to handle it and not panic as much. 

The cause of Dippity Pig is still unknown. Some believe it to be stress related, but we have found that it seems to have something to do with heat, or exposure to sun after cloudy days. This has been the case here.

Take note that the condition is much more common in pigs under two years of age and won’t happen at all or frequently with older pigs.

Symptoms:

  • Dipping or temporary loss of back legs - usually when trying to look up
  • Screaming in pain
  • Sores on the back - usually along the spine and can ooze 
  • Untreated will usually last 2-4 days
  • Comes on quickly with no notice

Treatment:

There is no treatment for Dippity, nor is there any preventive medication available at this time since the exact causes have not been determined. There are things you can do to help your pig feel better while Dippity Pig it runs its course.  Leave pig alone as much as possible. Do not make it look up at you, doing so puts a strain on their back and will cause their back legs to collapse. Reduce stress by keeping the pig in a quite area with dimmed lights.

Skin lesions can be painful and luckily, topical creams or sprays can help reduce their severity. Vitamin E liquid or Aloe Vera gel can also help reduce the pain and discomfort of the lesions.

What can you do for pain? For more sever cases, you should take your pig in to the vet. There they can administer a dose of an anti-inflammatory such as Prednisone or another steroid in extreme cases. Aspirin can be given by the owner, but you must make sure to give the appropriate dose.

Remember, although very frightening to the owner (it has happened to 3 different pigs here), the distress and symptoms typically resolve with no treatment, within 24 hours. Your pig should still be eating, drinking and going potty normal. Anything else and it is probably not Dippity Pig. See your vet.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fruits and Veggies For Your Pet Pig

First and foremost, your pigs pig chow should be the mainstay of their diet. It has all the protein and nutrients that our pigs need. Everything else is a bonus and moderation is key as with most foods. 

Though our pigs can eat most of the same foods that we do it doesn't mean that they should. Just like us some pigs also prefer to eat their veggies cooked rather than raw.  

In addition to their diet of pig chow, most pigs will enjoy a daily salad of fresh vegetables. Dark leafy greens are best as they provide ample amounts of vitamins. They also make delicious snacks.
 

Fruits are an especially delicious treat for pigs, but one that should be given only occasionally. Because of the sugar content found in fruit, pigs should only be fed one or two small portions of fruit a day as a treat. Small pieces of fruit can also be used as a reward if you're attempting to train your pig; they'll love the sweet prize. Pigs can eat a wide range of fruits, so long as it's in moderation. Give your pig opportunities to try a variety of fruits - from bananas and apples to strawberries and pineapple - to see which they like best.

There is nothing cuter than watching your pig’s face as they try something new. If they don't like it or want it they will spit it out.

As for fruits, most seem to like apples, melons, grapes and berries. We have found here over the years that most don’t care for oranges or grapefruit. There have only been 2 pigs that would eat them and it was always fun watching them peel the orange. We watched as Oshay would go around the orange trees searching for good oranges knowing to avoid the rotten ones. 

When feeding fruits with seeds or pits; we do not worry about the seeds as the pigs either eat them or spit them out. If it is a food with a pit we do cut it out. And depending where you live you might end up with new plants growing in your yard. 

Foods with rinds like melons can be fed, but beware as they can choke on them as well as banana peels. Know your pig and what he can handle. We do feed melon rinds here, but try to leave some meat on them and slices are of a size that we know they can handle. 

We have found that our pigs are pickier with veggies than fruits. And like us will eat those certain vegetables if they have been cooked first. We have one picky eater here and he will not eat any kind of lettuce, squash or zucchini, he prefers soft fruits. Our senior pigs also do not like pumpkins.
 
Again, moderation is key with most foods. Remember that most fruits and some vegetables contain natural sugars that turn into fat if not burned off.