Willie Bean
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Pot Bellied Pig Health and Information Articles
Just a few of the articles Phyllis has written on the care and well being of Potbellied Pigs.

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Here you will find Questions that people like you have asked Phyllis over the years with her Answers.

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Filbert

Potbellied Pig FAQ's and Information

Below: Possible Tumor/Cancer

Q: If you could please help me, I would be so thankful. I have a 10 year old pig and her last two teats have swollen up. And I can't find any info on this if you could point me in the right direction.

A: Sounds like your girl may have some tumors in the teat line. These usually show up as swollen teats but if you feel them are they hard knots or squichy soft? You will have to feel past the swelling to feel the mass if it's a tumor. Your vet will know if you take her in. I'm assuming your pig isn't spayed and she is at the right age to show the problems associated with that. We have found these pigs that age unspayed to be prone to tumors in the uterus, Pyometrias (uterine infections) and breast tumors. Uterine Infections Hope this helps and stay in touch ok?


Q: Hi Phyllis, I'm sure you'll remember Bella with the foot problem I spoke to you about last year. The problem completely gone now. We have a new problem.

Bella went off her food 10 days ago. We had a vet see her, though she could only guess what the trouble was she prescribed a course of antibiotics and a syrup to treat a stomach ulcer in case this was the problem.

Gradually she started to eat again, more and more each day up to yesterday almost back to normal. Leaving less food and much livelier. But today brown urine, with clots of blood and mucous bits. (Sorry about this, not pleasant). We have given urine samples to the vets straight away and will have to wait a while for the results.

Have you come across anything like this? Medical books (for humans though) suggest possibly cysts or possibly a growth in the bladder. She is going with normal regularity 2,3 times a day.

Sorry to bother you with this, every little information helps as I think I explained before, very few Pot Bellies as pets in England so they are treated pretty much as farm animals and don't normally it seems reach her age (12 and a half) Thanks again Phyllis, hope you are well and look forward to hearing from you. Graham

A: If there is a tumor than an x-ray or ultra sound might show it. It also could be a non malignant tumor if she is unspayed. That seems to be a big problem we are finding with older unspayed females.

Just for GPs I would put her back on a strong antibiotic while I'm looking for the reason for the urine to be dark with clots in it. The mucus doesn't concern me too much if it is white in color as most older pigs pass that with their urine at times. My vet tells me it is the sloughing off of tissue from the inside when it is white like that.


I e-mailed Dottie at Pigs4Ever who gave me your name in regards to my pig Harley. He is 7 years old and for the past week I have noticed his left testes is swollen. It goes up and down and I did not know if this was a hormonal condition or something else. I have not found a good vet to come to my home since Harley is not transportable. He is not neutered. Dottie said you had a 10 year old who had cancer and I was needing some advice.

Thank you so much for any ideas you may have. I'm still looking for a vet to come to my house at this time.

Thank you, Dodie

A: Hi Dodie, sounds like your boy might have a problem but if he does it is in the early stage. Usually when one testicle swells like that there is a problem. Sometimes it can go for months doing no more than that. If he will let you feel them really good try to decide if one feels mushy to you compared to the other one.

If it is a tumor and the vet tells you it is a tumor....not the greatest news I know but on the up side my vet feels it is so tightly contained in the testicle that once they are neutered they are fine and can live out a normal life.

We have had two in the last few years that had to be done because of this and both are doing great. We did the surgery on one in my kitchen floor with portable ISO to knock him out. The tumor was almost the size of a softball when it was taken out. Hope this helps some but let me hear from you OK?

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Q. Thank you so much for your help! You have made me feel so much better. I'm not even sleeping at night because of this. I tried to feel the lump this morning, it is a little mushy (sorry about the spelling) and the other testicle isn't even visible. It's only the left one. I'm so confused. I'm going to contact my regular vet to see who might be able to come to the house. I am the only person he lets touch him due to no contact with humans when he was young, poor thing. I hug him and rub his back and he is such a special guy I don't know what I would do without him. You wouldn't know any good mobile vets in Arizona would you? Asking just in case. Thanks again for letting me babble. You have helped so much. Dodie

A. Hi Dodie, I'm checking all contacts now to see if there is a traveling vet with a good reputation in Arizona. This is very simple surgery (as you probably figured out or we wouldn't have done it in my kitchen). The reason it feels mushy is according to my vet the blood supply all of a sudden goes to the tumor side of the testicle and the other gets no blood.

Just in case we can't find a mobile vet please go to my website and get the formula that we use on pigs here that are not easy to handle. We all agree that ISO fluorine is the best way to knock them out but there are times when its not able to be used.

The injectable formula on the web site has been used over a period of years on pigs with no problem other than they need to be kept quiet afterward until they wake up. This is in case your vet doesn't have portable ISO machine and its important to let him know that Ketamine is not a good drug to use on pigs and we much prefer Telazol

Some vets want to use Ketamine and it has been the major cause of problems in pigs across the country that have had it for surgery. On the web page too is a formula to weigh your boy that if done correctly will give you an accurate weight within three pounds.

If you want you can have your vet call mine and find out exactly what this entails, but as I said it is really no different than a neuter other than there is a mass in one testicle. He needs to take both when he does the surgery. Here is my phone number if you need it after you talk with your vet.

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I finally found the name of a pot belly pig sanctuary lady here in my area. She gave me the name of a mobile vet. Dr. Todd Driggers of Foothills Mobile Exotic Vet. I never thought of my baby boy as exotic, but if I have a good feeling about this gentleman I don't care. I would like to print your items on anesthetic and the neutering information by your vet (which I think I will come and kidnap, for he sounds wonderful!!) and wanted to make sure I had your permission first. I've printed your email regarding the Telazol and will pray that Dr. Driggers already knows this information, but just in case I want my ducks in a row.

Your website is fabulous!! Thank you so much for all the wonderful information and your patience in helping a teary eyed, non-sleeping, babbler. I'm just so worried, but you have helped tremendously!

In gratitude, Dodie


Q: Hi, I am writing to you about my 10yr old potbellied pig. Recently she has lost interest in eating, but can be coaxed to eat with a treat like applesauce. The shape of her belly has also changed..after reading your articles I was sure that she had a uterine tumor. (she has not been spade) There is only one vet in my area who would see her, and he recommended that we put her to sleep. He said that she was too old for surgery, and he would be concerned about malignant hyperthermia. She does not seem to be in pain at this time, but maybe uncomfortable because of the size of her belly. The vet said that he thought the tumor was about 15lbs right now. She has always been healthy and never has been sick..so I was just wanting some advise on surgery and older pigs. Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated....Thanks Sheila....

A: This is a decision that only you can make. We have had them do fine with the surgery and some that didn't do well. My thoughts on it is that a 15 lb tumor is still small enough to work with considering most of them don't get diagnosed until they are in the 40 lb range. You have been to my web page (in purple below) I assume and seen the pictures and read the articles on this problem. The surgery is almost the same as a spay and they usually have a big blood flow to them. They are usually non malignant but VERY fast growing so you should make your decision as soon as possible if you decide to have the surgery done. If you decide not to than you can keep her at home... love her to death and feed her whatever she wants including things we wouldn't usually give a pig until the time she quits eating for you completely. This includes cake, pies cookies all the goodies cause this is a terminal thing. .



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