Neutering The Potbellied Pig
by Dr. Paul Meyer, DVM

The following was written by my vet to help vets that are not familiar with the Potbelly pig. While we realize that most of our pet vets do know how to do this, this was written in hopes that you might give it to someone who has a vet that is not familiar with our animals.

There are still far too many cases of our pigs not surviving this operation because the inguinal ring was not closed or the pigs were done "barnyard" style which does not work on our pots like the it does on the farm pigs due to more of the testicles being so close to the body of the pig. If you receive a question on this from a new pig mom maybe you can pass it along to them for their vet to read.

Hopefully we might save a life. Phyllis Battoe


Smaller pigs of 150 lbs or less are masked down with isoflorine gas and oxygen per their size. Larger pigs that are harder to handle can be done with an injection of Rompan and Tealazol mixture. Rompan: 1mg per pound, Telazol: 2 mg per pound of body weight. Mixture of both can be put in same syringe and given either in the neck muscle or in the muscle over the hip.

The patient is placed in dorsal recumbency and the scrotum and the ventral side of the prepuce is clipped with clippers. Betadine surgical wash is used to prep the area and is sprayed on the surgical field.

Incision is made along the median Raphe at the base of the scrotum and the incision is continued but not through the external tunic of the testicles. The testicles are pushed cranially through the skin incision. The external tunic is pulled free of the distal scrotum.

Blunt dissection is preferred as cutting the tissue could lead to bleeding that in turn could cause a hematoma in the scrotum post op. The spermatic cord is clamped and then tied off proximally with 2-0 vicryl. The suture is transfixed and then the spermatic cord is cut distal to the clamp. This proximal end of the spermatic cord is placed back into the inguinal canal and then clamp is removed. The stump is checked for bleeding.

The exterior inguinal ring is closed with 2 or 3 horizontal mattress sutures of 2-0 vicryl.

If the external inguinal ring is not closed there is a high probability that a hernia may develop as pig recovers from anesthetic.

The second testicle is removed and exterior inguinal ring is closed in the same manner as above. The skin is closed with a sub cuticular continuous suture using 2-0 vicryl. Pig is then given an injection of Procaine Penicillin appropriate for his size even though sterile gloves and instruments are used. This antibiotic is given prophylatically.

Dr. Paul Myer DVM
Hawthorne Animal Hospital
5 Cougar Drive
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
PH: 618-288-3971

Photo's of the Inguinal Ring. (Warning: Graphic)

2002 This material is copyrighted, and is not to be reprinted without permission
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