Choosing a Veterinarian

Looking for a good local vet? Check out our Pig Vets page.

Choosing a veterinarian to treat your potbellied pig is critical to the care and well being of your pet pig. Selecting a vet is similar to and as important as choosing your child's pediatrician. This choice should be made in advance of any medical emergency that might arise. Should your pig become ill or in a crisis situation it is imperative that a relationship already be established with your local veterinarian. To aid you in identifying a potbellied pig veterinarian in your area, NAPPA provides an online list of vets, both in the United States and internationally, who are identified as treating the pet pig.

It should be noted that your veterinarian is your best resource, if you are in doubt about the physical well being of your pet pig. Being prepared for minor medical emergencies is also important in the care of your pet pig.




DOs and. DONTs at the VET




Note: It is recommended that you check with your local veterinarian about the medical needs and requirements of the pet pig in your community.


Piglet - 6 Weeks of Age:

8-9 Weeks of Age:

9 Weeks to Adult:

*Leptospirosis vaccination is dependent upon geographical region.

Locating a qualified veterinarian with potbellied pig clients can be achieved by contacting your breeder, another potbellied pig owner, your local pig club, your current vet, or researching through the Internet.



There are several ways to anesthetize including inhalation of gases, injections, and even intra-nasal drugs. Inhalation anesthesia (isoflurane specifically) is the safest means to anesthetize a pig, if available. Halothane is not recommended as it has been linked to PSS (Porcine Stress Syndrome) in commercial pigs. Some vets might still use halothane but most have at least one isoflurane machine. The injectable dissociative drugs are common and effective but recovery can be rough and delayed. Should disassociative anesthesia be the only choice it is imperative that you be available to either crate or hold your pig until the pig is fully recovered. By doing this, you will lessen the stress and fear and possible injury to your pet. There are many other injectable drugs that can be used that are safer and provide a smoother, quicker recovery than the dissociative drugs. The drawback to these drugs is that they are very expensive. One example is a combination of midazolam, medetomidine, and butorphanol.

In summary, there are three choices when anesthetizing your pet pig:

BEST: Isoflurane gas

BETTER: Consider a safe injectable drug protocol (like the one mentioned above) that might be more expensive. GOOD: The dissociative drugs.

CONCLUSION A well-trained and prepared pig will be much more likely to cooperate with any procedures that your vet deems necessary. The training time prior to the visit to the vet is time well spent so that your pet pig will experience as little stress and pain as possible.

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