What is a mini pig?
The word "mini" has become the standard to differentiate between farm pigs and the smaller breeds like potbellied pigs. While that term has been accepted, I fully agree that it can be misleading to uneducated people who were never prepared for ANY sized pig. Mini is simply a class of pigs, not a breed of pigs. Potbelly is a breed. Kune is a breed. And in comparison to farm pigs, they are indeed mini. I also think that term is commonly used because most pigs are mixed breeds. They aren't any "purebred" potbellied pigs anymore. They've been mixed with ferals and kunes and other real breeds, so mini sounds better than mutt pigs. There are breeds of dogs, but when you have several breeds that are bred, what is the offspring called? What if a Dalmatian and Chihuahua breed? A Dalhuahua? How about a Saint Bernard and German Shepherd? A Saint Shepherd? Most are referred to as "my dog", no breed attached. But, the word mini will likely continue to be used to catergorize the actual breeds of pigs that someone as trying to describe as smaller than a farm type pig. Now micro and teacup and nano and pocket and micro mini? Those are unacceptable descriptions, not only are they flat out lies, but they are completely misleading. We started this website because people were searching for "mini" pigs and it made sense to name the website a commonly searched term so it showed up when anyone was looking for info for their mini pig. However, once they actually read our website, even on the home page, it let's people know why it's called mini pig info, and how that term by itself can be misleading. We dedicated a page on the website to show others what realistic sizes of "mini" pigs are. You can see their stories and pictures by clicking here.
I would much rather have started a website called www.MyPigWasSupposedToBeMiniButEndedUpBeingAFatass.com, but that was obviously too much for people to type in the browser and also not something people would be searching for. I do not condone, support or endorse breeding, though admittedly, before I even knew about pig rescues, I purchased my pig. Had I known there were people out there that brought in pregnant pigs and worked with pigs so they could be adopted? I never would've purchased the love of my life that I have now.
I do understand that some want a piglet and not a grown/mature pig. You don't have to buy a pig from a breeder if you want a piglet. Pig rescues have piglets. There are rescue networks that know about piglets that need excellent homes. There are people who have purchased piglets that quickly found out they weren't prepared for a pig and that piglet now needs a new home. Trust me when I say, piglets aren't always fun. Are they cute? Absolutely! But they are hard work. There is typically a process to adopt a pig versus buying one from someone who only cares about money. The people who have dedicated their time, resources and homes to foster these pigs have a legitimate concern about where they will go. They are emotionally vested in these pigs. So, while it may be "easier" to simply buy a pig, you are rewarding someone for bringing more potentially unwanted pigs into the world which keeps the process going and going. NOBODY can guarantee the health of your pig. Not a breeder, not a rescue, no one. ANY pig can become ill, any pig can carry traits passed along from many generations before that aren't dominant genes in other siblings or the parent pigs. If size is of the upmost importance for a pet, then a pig is likely NOT the pet for you, however, if there are city/county restrictions on the sizes of pets/pigs that are allowed, your best bet would be to rescue an older pig that is "fully grown" so there are no surorises. Just keep in mind, while the growth plates in the bones will eventually close and your pig may not get taller or longer, your pig will continue to gain weight if the diet isn't providing the amount of calories going in as the calories they're using in everyday life. Diets constantly have to be adjusted so your pig doesnt become obese. (click here to read more about nutrition) Again, had I known about pig rescues when I purchased my pig, I probably would've gotten a rescue pig instead of purchasing a pig from a breeder. To find a pig rescue, you can look at the list we have created by clicking here.
I've rescued, I've fostered, I've transported, I've volunteered at pig rescues, I've donated time and money to various pig rescues, organizations, charities and will continue to educate, advocate and help in any way possible. I do not believe there are ANY healthy super small pigs, but I do know there are people who have unrealistic expectations that they will find one. Unfortunately, 99.9999% will be disappointed and ultimately need to find that pig a home because that pig grew bigger than the little dainty cute pig they wanted, they don't understand pigs nor do they want to learn how to properly care for one. Those who have a passion for pigs and do everything in their power to help will continue to help and educate people. I truly believe it is a community effort, it's sad that not everyone takes the time to truly learn about these precious creatures BEFORE they get one, myself included.
I was an ignorant first time pig mama and my pig suffered because of that. But sharing our stories and experiences is how we all learn. I humbly shared mine as embarrassing and heartfelt it was. My pig passed away at 9 months old because of an idiot breeder, my lack of knowledge, my vets inexperience and a slew of mistakes. That never should've happened. Although he had a genetic heart defect, likely as a result of inbreeding, I take full responsibility for his death. That is also why I bought every vet book there was, collected information from others and websites and credible people and myself along with people who are much smarter than me, created a website to teach other people everything we know about pigs and how to care for them. We get private messages all day, every day with questions. People email nonstop wanting help with their pigs, they call, we help with every bit of energy we have in us. We cry with those who have sick pigs and mourn with those who lose pigs. We laugh with those whose pigs are trouble makers and brainstorm with those who need advice.
The pig community is a family, a large, sometimes dysfunctional family, but that's no different that my human blood related family. I have learned so much from other pig people and I am quite certain I will continue to learn on a daily basis. I just hate that everyone that is in the community is divided more and more everyday and having to fight with each other when it's not us who are the problem. It's the people who continue to lie, deceive and basically rob people that need to take the brunt of the hatred, not each other. In the meantime, while mini doesn't accurately describe what the size of your pig will be, it does represent a group of pigs that we have all come to know and love. So when someone says there is no such a thing as a mini pig, they're both right and wrong. There is a miniature pig, also known as a mini pig, but these pigs are anything but mini. This term only describes a class of pigs that are smaller than the farm pigs, but these do NOT describe actual breeds of pigs nor the size of the pig you will end up with. You can read more about actual breeds of pigs by clicking here. Do not add a pig to your family if you're not prepared to make a 20+ year committment to a big ball of fun because that is likely what you will end up with. The journey to get there is long and draining, but once your pig becomes part of your family, you will become a parent to an unconventional pet that will steal your heart forever.
There are some days when I look at my pig and the long list of destructive things shes done and think to myself, I do believe I have Satan's daughter living at my house. Then, I look at someone else's situation and realize how lucky I am to still have my pig by my side.
You're upset because your pig tore up your brand new floor? Look at it from another person's point of view. This person truly loved their pig and their pig did the same thing, only their pig ended up with an obstruction that was not discovered until it was too late. Be glad that your pig is still here.
You are not happy with your pig because your pig got into the kitchen cabinets and now none of your cans have labels, so you have no clue what's in them. Looking at it from soneone else's point of view, you'll soon realize that there are so many who have no food, so just to have cans of food, label or not would, be a blessing.
You are super mad because your pig practically destroyed your house while you were at work today. Again, let's look at it from someone else's life, at least you have a home. Some people have suffered great losses and cannot say the same.
There was recently a tragedy in Tenneessee and a wild fire started sweeping across the state. I am sure there were warnings, but obviously not enough time to get prepared for what was about to unfold. One family in particular, the Holme's family, was able to get themselves and most of their pets to safety, but Charles the pig was left behind. I do not want to speculate why he was left or even discuss it, but their entire property is nothing but the remains of what was once standing. NOTHING is left, nothing except for sweet Charles. This pig instictively found mud and somehow burrowed himself in it enough to survive the raging fires around him that left nothing but charred reminders in place of all their worldy possessions. EVERYTHING. Some things werent even recognizable anymore, inlcuding their home and car. But Charles made it. That is almost unbelievable to be honest. Charles did suffer some burns, likely went into shock and has had some issues with his breathing, but he is being cared for by medical professionals and seems to be doing much better as of Rob Holme's latest post.
Please keep in mind, these people lost EVERYTHING. They have no home, no car, no money, no clothes, toothbrushes, food, nothing. They lost it all. If you choose to comment on our blog, please be kind with your words. If you have never carried the baggage that this family now has to carry, don't assume you would know what you would've done and don't assume they didn't try to get him to safety. There have been some really hateful comments on some other feeds about this situation and that makes me sad. This family has endured enough pain, why intentionally try to make them feel worse? You can read about their story by clciking the link below.
Here is another story of survival that I came across. I reached out to Leslie Norton to ask for her permission to include Petunia on our blog about pigs that survived overwhelming circumstances. Here is the story of Petunia.
For 20 years I resisted my daughter's pleas for a pig, but Petunia has proved me dead wrong! We could not imagine life without her. A coworker bought a house in the country and the former owner left two mini pigs there (much to their shock!). Two days after they moved in, one of the pigs gave birth to five piglets! Over the course of the next couple of days, the sow killed four of the babies and they frantically called me about what to do with the remaining piglet. I explained about bottle feeding and newborn care. The next morning, I was handed the baby and told "here....I cannot do this" and so life with Petunia began.
Petunia had a rough beginning. But life didn't continue along on the easy road.
"As life went on, Petunia has obviously remained a part of the family. We live in Denham Springs Louisiana. In August we had a devastating flood. My daughter and I had to evacuate with our dogs in a kayak. We swam to our barn and opened our gates for our horses and goats. We have a beloved pig named Petunia, who were were forced to leave behind. With her short little legs, we thought her only chance was the house, so we put her in before we left not knowing that our place would be under water for five days. In 38 years there we had never flooded. Our hearts were broken to be kept away by the authorities and when we returned, our world was turned upside down. We lost 5 horses, 4 goats, 22 rabbits and over a hundred chickens, pheasants, and peafowl. Our house is being demolished next week actually, but somehow, someway, Petunia survived! Our miracle pig!"
What can we learn from both of these difficult situations? ALWAYS BE PREPARED! The stories above show the slightest glimpse of what these families had to suffer through. I cannot imagine having to make a difficult decison like that.
That leads us to emergency prepardedness. The time to teach your pig how to use a ramp or harness or to crate train is NOT during the emergency, but way before tragedy strikes. This will increase your pigs chance of survival tenfold.
I can't say how I would react to a situation where my pig had to be left behind in a life threatening natural disaster because, thankfully, I have never had that type of circumstance unfold. I can, however, state without a shadow of a doubt, I would struggle with loading my uncooperative pig. Not only is she a big girl, but she also isn't a fan of the car/truck. She is crate trained and I would hope she would be willing to get right in the crate, but...animals have that instinct. They know when things aren't right. They know when there are disasters headed in their direction. I am quite certain that every pig would react differently in these situations. Some may run and hide while others are more comfortable in the house in their safe area such as a crate or bedroom. But what about those who have a lot of land and their pigs are missing or hiding? How would you handle a life or death situation with YOUR pig? Would your pig be willing to get in your car without hesitation? Would you're pig be agreeable to moving into another room easily? If not; this is something we should all be prepared for.
Instead of assuming the worst in people, let's assume a pig was NOT agreeable as many wouldn't be. And the decision to leave ones pig behind was made with a heavy heart. We are all outraged. BUT, when I really think about it, MY pig would be a struggle. MY pig would NOT be agreeable and I would have an extremely difficult time in getting her IN my truck. As it stands, it takes about 3-4 people to get her in the truck. What if I only had 4 minutes to get this done while also in panic mode and trying to think of other life saving items I need to grab. This is tough. This is a tough spot to be in and I cannot imagine having to make that kind of decision. Use other people's tragedy to build a better tomorrow. Help to educate others by formulating your own emergency plan. How would you react if flood waters suddenly came to your back door? What would you do in the event of a tornado? What about fire? If your home was suddenly engulfed in flames, how would you get your pig out?
Now imagine losing everything you have and reading how disgusted people are with you for leaving your pig behind. That is probably the worst part of it is dealing with the aftermath when you have had to make the hardest decisions of your life. Delegate responsibilities to each family member so you can cut the time it takes to get all your animals together and loaded. Practice emergency drills with your family and see how long it takes you to get your animals to safety. Know where you can go, do you have family that you can stay with or a shelter that allows pigs? Keep an emergency supply kit accessible. Keep names and numbers of vets and other important information in an area you can easily get to. Crate train your pig, ramp train and harness train your pig. BE PREPARED because you never really know when you will need to be. It's always better to be overly prepared rather than not ready at all. Learn from others mistakes and try not to judge their actions. Until you have been in a life threatening crisis, you have no idea how you would react. And until you have met their pig and witnessed their interaction and relationship (because lets face it, some pigs have better relationships than others with their human family), don't judge. Know all the facts before you do.
I have joined in and expressed my outrage and disappointment in people when reading about these tragedies in past situations. But, as I said earlier, when I really think about it, I realize I am not truly prepared for an emergency either and that is definitely something I can work on. My pig hates the ramp, hates the stairs I bought for her, but she loves her crate. BUT, Who knows if she would actually get in it when her sense of impending disaster kicked in? Nonetheless, I know this has put it in a new perspective for me and has prompted me to get on the training again and get it done. I don't ever want to be forced to make a tough decision like that, but if I am, I, at the very least, want to know I did everything I could to prepare myself for disaster if it should ever find its way to my home in order to give my pig a fighting chance at survival.
Check out our page that discusses emergency prepardedness in much more detail and let's celebrate the wins! Petunia and Charles are still here with us because they had the desire and will to live. We can ALL learn something though. We can all do better and we can all be prepared. It may all fall apart in the greatest time of need, but it may very well be the extra steps you take now that are what saves your pig later.
We created a list of awesome gifts for the pig lover in your life last year, so we thought we would create a new one for this year. So, what do you get a pig lover? What can you get a pig parent for Christmas? A lot of people are difficult to buy for, but what about those who already have everything? Bet they don't have all of these gift ideas! Keep in mind, there are several pig related charities that are having auctions this month too who will have unique items that you can bid on for Christmas. Mo Money for pigs will have the annual "yule hog" auction (https://www.facebook.com/events/yulehog-starting today 11/28-12/03) starting today and they ALWAYS have awesome gifts! PAL (Pig Advocates League) will also be having an auction soon, so be on the lookout for both of these organizations' auctions!
You will notice that actual pigs are NOT on our list. Anyone who is interested in adding a pig to the family needs to research several things before adding a pig. Zoning, veterinarian support, finanical resources, yard, adequate time needed to care for a pig, etc. Please do not buy a pig as a Christmas gift.
Every pig lover needs a pig butt necklace! This is a beautiful necklace that is sure to please the pig lover in your life! You can get yours by clicking here.
Perhaps the pig lover in your life has EVERYTHING pig related....that just means you need to get creative. How about donating to a pig rescue in their honor? Not only does this help a pig rescue with funding, but sending in a donation in honor of someone else truly shows that you care about pigs and doing this will make any pig lover feel warm and fuzzy inside! Remember, they don't only need money, blankets, hay, feed, housing supplies, amazon gift cards, etc. all make wonderful gifts for your favorite pig rescue. You can click here to see a list of pig rescues.
Pig Pajamas! Every pig lover needs pig PJ's....There are several styles on this website. http://www.cafepress.com/pigs_pajamas
Light up pig? YES PLEASE! http://www.kohls.com/product/apothecary-pig-led
Every pig lover NEEDS pig slippers...http://www.kohls.com/pigslippers
Do you need the perfect shirt to wear when you do NOT feel like going to the gym?
Personalized stuffed animal? Absolutely! (and found on one of my favorite websites!!) https://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/personalized-stuffed-pets/
Everyone needs a pig pancake pan! https://www.amazon.com/pig-pancakes
Livie creations can pretty much make anything you want...but she already has cute designs available.
Pig art, super cute!
Pig Lamp. LOVE it!
SUPER cute measuring spoons! Get yours by clicking here.
Vintage pig weather vein....definitely a "must have".
Sterling silver pig bracelet.
Ever wonder what hooves might look like on your feet? Now you can see!
A pig chair?!? OMGosh, I have to have one!
This pig console table may be one of my favorites! (F-R-A-G-I-L-E~ that must be Italian. hehe)
Pig rug....super cute!
Totally love this one too! Another cute pig rug...
Rooting rug WITH a jacket? Only at Spamala's Creations!
Pig coasters...perfect to protect your tables from the damaging effects of moisture from cups and they are simply adorable!
Snort life creates stunning looks for pigs; all at reasonable prices. I have purchased several of their outfits for my pig and couldn't be more pleased!
How about building a first aid kit for that pig parent in your life? There are many things that can be included and we just happen to have a list of those things that you can find by clicking here.
Esther the wonder pig's book! Any pig parent needs to read their book. You may find other items in their store that you just "got to have".
Pig eyeglass holder....this is really a cute idea/item.
I don't care how formal your living room is, a pig pillow will always look good!
Pillow covers or even pillows can easily be found by doing a simple google search.
Little pig soaps for your bathroom.
Area patrolled by attack pig. Hilarious! Perfect for the "jerk" pig in your life. LOL
For the wine drinker in your life....We love pigs MORE than wine. lol
Kitchen towels...pig themed....gotta have them.
Bookmark pig butt.
Pig accent wallpaper, yes please!
Trinket pig jewelry box...
Metal pig decor...this can be added to your favorite wall or added to something else to create something pig inspired!
Pig drawer pulls. You can add these to your favorite piece of furniture to make it something really special!
How about that person who is having a difficult time with his/her pig? What about paying for a consultation service for them with a behavioral consultant? Ross Mill Farms provides a service like this where Susan "the pig whisperer" Magidson may be able to help!
EVERY home with a pig should have a sorting panel accessible.
Super cute mason jar with pig...because you really can't have too many pig items.
Pig tea kettle! Almost too cute to actually use...
Peppermint pig- who can say no to pig candy?!?
For the pig lover who likes to drink in your family....A pig flask!
A caster pig hook, perfect for a bathroom or even a living room.
Stunning pig plates, the perfect addition to any pig themed home!
No house is complete without a pig snow globe.
Technically you can use these magnetic keychains to keep your keys in one spot!
I just want to be a stay at home pig mom mug...
Crazy pig lady t-shirt....
Pig flatware caddy. Super cute!
Pig wine cork!
Have a personalized portrait drawn by one of the talented artists we have listed by clicking here. Look for artists. The one listed above was done by Shannon Ivins and her store can be found by clicking the following link. https://www.etsy.com/pet-portrait-mini-original-oil-painting
Snoozer pet beds. PIGS LOVE THESE!
If you aren't able to have a pig where you live or this just isn't the right time, sponsor a pig at one of the many pig rescues. (You can click here to see where the pig rescues are located and how to get in touch with them) If you want that "pig fix" plan a trip to visit one of the pig rescues close to you and volunteer your time to help them out for a day. For anyone who can't have a pig of their own, this type of experience is as close as you can get to having one of your own!!
We will add to the list as we find more pig appropriate gifts, but this is a great list to start searching for awesome gifts for ANY pig lover in your life!
As of this January (2017) any use of antibiotics in food or water WITHOUT a veterinarian is NOT allowed. This is called the veterinary feed directive. Now, yes this is associated with what we have heard for years, about feeding antibiotics to food animals for growth, increased body mass etc. However, this blankets ALL ANIMALS even BEES! Your pig, chicken, or pet rat is INCLUDED! So, anyone that self treats their pets, can be effected by this.
There are 2 parts to this. One is a list of drugs commonly placed in food. Regardless of commercial feed or not, you can't do it without a veterinarians ok.
This second list is for water. So any drugs bought OTC at a feed store that is on this list you can no longer add to water without a veterinarian.
Written by Dr. Kerri Cooper-Bailey, DVM
These are not directed at people who have extenuating circumstances that have to find a new home for their pig. These ARE directed at those who buy a pig despite being given the facts and warnings, but refuse to listen. While I should not judge others and their reasons, some of these excuses are so stupid that I wish there was a greeting card line to address this problem. Some of these people would definitely be getting one from me.
I'm just posting a reminder, PLEASE do your research before rehoming your pig, and if you're a breeder, please do your research before selling a pig to people. Hoarders are real, they collect pigs like junk hoarders collect junk. Usually these animals are not very well taken care of. Someone who offers to take all pigs around them needs to be watched. Just because a person says they have room doesn't mean they can physically or finanically care for them. Some people have a mental disorder. (I'm not saying this is the case with anyone in particular) but some people do and in these cases, the pigs suffer the worst of it.
Recently, a herd of pigs was taken from a home, they were extremely ill. The owner had some medical problems and wasn't able to care for them. There were some who died prior to them being seized, several didn’t live long enough to get to new homes and the person who took them all in wasn't sure if the rest would even survive, but they're being cared for and healthy now. that's all that matters. Don't hand your pig over to someone because they say they can take them. If you care, ask questions, make sure the person offering has the mental capacity to make this kind of decision. Ask how many pigs they currently have, ask for pictures of their property and yard. Visit that home and look for yourself. If you can't do it, ask if someone you trust to visit. Ask a lot of questions. Ask if any of their pigs have passed away and why, ask about finances, ask about their experience. Do they have a secured, fenced in yard? Ask if they have other animals, like big dogs or horses that are known to not make great companions for pigs and often result in injuries and even death. If they do, make sure there are accommodations to keep them separated at all times. Make sure they have a vet that sees pigs and call and verify this. Although due to privacy laws, a vet may not be able to give you specific information, but they may be able to drop subtle hints about someone who maybe isn't appropriate to care for your pig. If you care about YOUR pig, you'll find out and research who you're giving your pig to. Just because someone has the money to buy a pig doesn't mean they can care for one.
While I'm on a rant, if you feel like a pig is in bad conditions or in an unfavorable situation, call someone and let them know. Don't walk away. If you pay money to buy a pig from bad conditions, you just paid someone to continue doing what they're doing This is NOT a rescue. This is a purchase. Own your decision. I am not referring to situations where a pig is in danger, if you truly feel like a pig will die if you don't intervene now, follow your heart and do what you have to do to ensure that pig is safe. Rehoming is rehoming, taking in an unwanted pig or a pig that can no longer live where they’re currently at. Rescue is when a pig has no one or no where to go. Caught running wild, taken from animal control or seized from properties where the conditions were uninhabitable. Getting a pig from a rescue and giving a home is a rescue. Paying for a pig doesn't make it a rescue. You bought a pig. Again, if conditions are that poor, call the authorities and offer the pig a home when you call, but don't condone the conditions or behavior by giving someone money which essentially is all they wanted to begin with. Your decision on how you acquire a pig is your business, wether you decide to buy a pig, accept a pig into your home that needs to be rehomed or adopt from a rescue or rescue one yourself, it is a personal choice. I don't know all the answers, but what I do know is paying for a pig is not the same as rescuing a pig and it's disheartening to see people say they rescued a pig when in fact they bought a pig. Again, if you see conditions that aren't favorable for pigs, tell someone! If you don't, you're allowing them to stay in those conditions and are also to blame for what happens to them by keeping it to yourself. And it's not going to stop because you buy a pig and then tell others how bad it is. They got what they wanted, they sold a pig. Now they will breed again and sell more. But there are organizations that can help. There are people that can be called to intervene. This doesn't always mean someone's pigs will be taken from them, but, maybe someone needs some guidance, maybe someone needs some direction and education or maybe someone doesn't need pigs. That's up to the authorities. But not speaking up is just as bad as telling them everything looks good when you know it doesn't. These pigs depend on us to be their voice.
Just keep this in mind...Rescue isn't something people pat you on he back for, you don't rescue for the glory, you don't get rich by rescuing pigs, you don't always get the praise you do deserve when you literally save a pigs life, but you do get the satisfaction of knowing you gave a pig another chance. You rescue because you care more about the pig than you do about the notoriety. Usually rescue is teamwork, whether that be transportation of the pig(s) or financial help or advice, sometimes even just the moral support. But in the end, people rescue because they care and cant bare the thought of another pig dying because someone didn't do their homework or got sick of the responsibility or moved, got divorced, had a baby, went off to college or just lost interest. No one wins, especially not the pig who didn't ask to be bounced from home to home.
Lastly, we wanted to mention when you give your pig away, your pig could very well end up in the hands of people who do NOT have good intentions. People who have NO business working with animals, people like the ones who were recently arrested in Virginia where someones PET pig was brought in and the shelter worker called her boyfriend and they TORTURED and MURDERED that pig for a holiday BBQ. This may not be an isolated event, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, but you do need to realize that dropping your pig off at an animal shelter could end with tragedy like this.
I had the unique pleasure of chatting with Ziggy's mama yesterday for almost 4 hours on the phone. (We are women, women like to talk. lol) But while talking to her, I learned about some of the GREAT things that are being planned for Ziggy's Refuge. They are currently raising money for the downpayment for this "once in a lifetime property" opportunity in NC where they plan to have a vegan bed and breakfast, Ziggyfest (yearly), MANY other things and most of all, they hope to be able to assist sooooo many animals on the east coast that needs homes every day with their sanctuary.
From my understanding, there has been some outside chatter about them, their plans, their goal and some people have been extremely hateful about their desire to start a rescue. That makes me sad. They have done so much to help others and based on those experiences from traveling with Ziggy, they knew animal rescue is what they wanted to do. So here are some important things that I believe will help clarify some of the lingering questions people may have. I have met Ziggy, Kristin and Jay, I have seen their passion, I have heard them speak about the desire to change peoples and animals lives. I have nothing but nice things to say about them and honestly can't imagine anyone saying anything ugly or hateful to or about them. If you have a dream, it is up to YOU to go after it. I was not asked to write anything on their behalf, I wanted to in order to clarify some questions that people may have. Here are some things I want to clear up about their situation.
1. They will have a mortgage, the money they're trying to raise is for a downpayment so the mortgage payment will be within reason plus a little more to make some much needed improvements in order for them to be have the ability to start rescuing animals on that property immediately.
2. The plans go way beyond what is in the fundraising campaign. I don't know if I am letting the cat out of the bag by telling everyone about some of the other things they plan to do, but I will share some of what I learned when talking to Kristin. They have several structures on the property, so they want those families, who want to adopt a pig, to come stay in one of the cottages for a few days WITH the pig they want to adopt so they're comfortable with the care of a pig before taking that pig home. (Meeting other criteria will also play a crucial part in the adoption process, of course) but, how awesome is that? I wish I had someone next door that could've showed me how to do things and what the different behaviors and sounds meant. Volunteers will also have the ability to stay right on the property eliminating the need to find a hotel or find somewhere to stay.
3. They are not trying to take funding away from anyone else or other rescues who are in need of money for various things. Ziggy's parents have been working towards this goal ever since they reached the US from their home in the Virgin Islands and they saw the need for additional rescues during their travels. This particular plan has been in the works for about a year. They have been looking at properties all over the US for quite some time in an attempt to find one located in an area that was accessible to the public rather easily. Their ultimate goal is to be able to help some of the larger, well-established rescues when they're ready to retire. As it stands, ALL the rescues are full. There is nowhere for pigs to go if a rescue closes. So I thought it was important to mention that.
4. They have a "live" question/answer event, once a week, I believe. They do it live so people can ask questions in real time and get answers on the spot. If you have questions about them, their plans, their fundraiser or anything else, go to Ziggy the traveling pig page and see when their next live session will be and comment with your questions. They also have a generous attorney who is helping them on this venture who has also applied for their 501c3. (Which is still pending as of today-these things take time to get into place, but typically they are retroactive to the date you filed) I personally appreciate the transparency and willingness on their part to answer the tough questions people ask.
5. They have obviously dedicated their lives to helping animals and have spent the last several years living in an RV and traveling the US stopping off to help several rescues for long periods of time. So they have some experience in what rescuing animals entails. They have learned valuable life lessons, good ways to do things and they have also learned about the bad part of rescue. Things to avoid, what NOT to do when you have animals to care for. They have had the opportunity to meet with people from all over the country and they've been given guidance from some of the wonderful places that rescue pigs, in addition to other animals, that will guide them towards success. They are not claiming to know everything there is about animal rescue, they will have a lot more to learn, but I respect anyone who is dedicated as much as they are to making this happen.
6. They plan to have seminars and events routinely at Ziggy's Refuge. Educational seminars, How-to clinics, community events...everything that encompasses animal rescue. They also eventually want to have employees and veterinarians that stay on the property. None of this will happen overnight, but again, the goal is for Ziggy's Refuge to continue forever, long after Jay and Kristin have passed on. (That is a little morbid, I know, but they want their dream to be carried on by others once they are no longer able to physically do it themselves. Like 50-60 years from now)
Ultimately, they want to have a rescue that people WANT to go to. A place that people plan their vacation around so they can visit the animals, possibly volunteer and I think that is GREAT. There are so many rescues that are overwhelmed. They are full, they have no more room and as these animals get older, their needs increase often needing more costly care leaving even less resources available to help other animals in desperate need of help. Most rescues start off by accident. I do not know of anyone that has a rescue and it was their childhood dream to do so. Most start because there is nowhere else for these animals to go and their heart won't let them walk away from an animal in need.
Ziggy and his parents are making a conscious decision to help animals and they're doing so by creating their own community that will be self sustained, much like a business. They will welcome people to visit, have cottages that people can rent. Host weddings and events for others. That is also why this particular property is so important to them. It isn't hundreds of miles away from everything and everybody. It is on the east coast and positioned in the mid-atlantic area, easily accessible to many animals who may need a safe place to go. They're not asking for everyone to donate hundreds of dollars, they're asking for everyone to donate 5.00 to help them get to their goal. If you want to help, awesome. Donate. If you do not, that's ok too, thanks for taking the time to read what I have had to say. Please consider sharing their fundraiser so they can reach more people.
I wish Ziggy all the best luck to reach his goal and will help out in any way that I can. I wish nothing but success for EVERYONE who is working on the front lines to help animals, but I also know there is room for one more! Help them reach their goal by donating or sharing, write about a memorable experience you may have had with Ziggy, write about your dream experience with them. If meeting them is on your bucket list, that dream may be more attainable than you think. Ask them how you can help them, share their story and fundraiser, be supportive, be kind. That is how the pig community works, we always help each other.
We urge everyone to do some research on anyone or any organization they're donating to, thats just the smart thing to do!
Use the link below to read more about their plans....I know I am super excited to watch this happen!
This was my first time meeting Ziggy and his family. I loved them. His mama was super passionate about appropriately caring for him as well as other animals and it is a great honor to call them friends.
Something that can be extremely frustrating to those of us who try to help other pig parents, is when people ask for advice-yet don't listen to it. This is even more frustrating when they ask for the same advice a week later and you see it and you respond hey I told you this last week this is what you needed to do yet they still don't do it. Even more frustrating than that is when it's suddenly become an emergency and they still don't take their pig the vet. In some of these cases, the pig has died as a result of the flat out negligence and people have eventually admitted they simply didn't have the money. We can't all be financially prepared for every emergency situation, although, I wish that we were. However, instead of the situation being addressed for what it is, lack of funds, everyone is trying their best to advise others on how to handle it, sometimes the vet is the only appropriate response. This doesn't help the pig in need because this pig parent has no intentions of taking their pig to the vet to be seen.
What is even more frustrating is that there are organizations that were created for these specific reasons. Charities that collect and disperse funds for emergencies. If money is the issue and you're embarrassed about that, we understand. Putting your business on FB isn't a good idea and people can be quite judgmental. I have seen the comments from people who say "If you can't afford your pig, you shouldn't have one" and other hateful things. Is this helpful advice? Obviously not. If you can privately message a trusted friend who is resourceful, that person will likely point you in the right direction. But, you have to know that people will get upset when they see nothing was done to help a pig when the information to save them was provided and that person did nothing. Typically the next post we see is "My pig crossed rainbow bridge or died today and I have no idea why" or "I tried everything I could to save him". Did you? Did you do everything you could to save that pig? If you didn't have the money, did you call around to any vet practices to see if they'd make payment arrangements? Did you listen to any of the people who tried to tell you that your pig would die without a veterinarian intervening? No, you didn't do everything you could, you posted about your situation on FB and asked for help and didn't listen to anyone and didn't take your pig to the vet.
When someone urgently asks for help and then fails to answer pertinent questions, we are unable to help and feel as if we are wasting our time. If you send us a message with the words HELP! and nothing else, how are we supposed to know how to help you? People do this all over Facebook, in groups, in private message, on other posts. Without complete information, no one can help you with your pig. Use common sense, if your pig has an area of concern, such as a rash, describing that rash to someone is a great idea, but sending a clear picture of the rash should follow the description. If you think your pig is having a neurological issue and you describe the ongoing situation, take a quick video so others can see what you are describing. In having complete details, this can help field messages or calls into urgent categories. If someone wants help with potty training and another person has a pig with a fever of 106, I am going to prioritize messages and help the person with the sick pig first. If someone on Facebook isn't able to help you because your pig needs to see a veterinarian, having those pictures and/or video will help your vet diagnosis and treat your pig as well.
You have to understand, most people on Facebook also work full-time jobs, have homes and families of their own to care for, so they cannot be on Facebook all day every day just to answer your questions. People typically check messages several times a day or check them when they can. Also remember, while trying to answer questions from one worried pig parent, we may also be on the computer juggling three or four other private messages with people having questions or needing help and encouragement. Give us the courtesy of a response when a question is asked. Ask to take the conversation private if you want. If an admin or anyone else hooks you up with a vet, you call the vet late at night, and he is kind enough to set you up with an early morning appointment, BE THERE. Don't show up hours late to the appointment. It is extremely rude. Vets are busy people and have schedules to keep. If they extend to you the courtesy of squeezing you in because it is urgent, you owe them the courtesy of showing up at the appointed time. If you cannot, you owe them the courtesy of a phone call to let them know you will be late. For the people who get their panties in a bunch over a perceived insult or slight, all I can say is get a grip. If you are so very easily offended by words, social media is not a safe place for you. I do not think people realize how emotionally vested others are when they become involved with a situation. I know I have woke up in the morning worried about someone else's pig after tossing and turning all night.
We have a health form on the website. (Click here to see the downloadable health form) If people would use this form, or a basic "fact" sheet when asking questions about medical situations, it would help describe the whole situation instead of having bits and pieces of information. When people have to go back and forth asking questions to pull the basic information out of someone, it just wastes valuable time and using some kind of standard form to collect your thoughts can potentially be life saving to a pig in an urgent situation. It allows all the pertinent information to be collected at one time so everything that may be asked is already answered. It makes questionable types of situations much easier to explore.
Sometimes we stay up late to help, sometimes we even show up in person...Above all we care about the pigs and offer support to the best of our individual abilities. We are also honest and "call 'em as we see 'em". We all have different approaches, but when it comes to the well being of the pigs we do not coddle. We state the truth. Some are offended by the truth. Some shop around until they hear what they WANT to hear, which isn't always the right or truthful thing, and may very well be harmful. When someone claims to have a "micro-mini" pig, you can rest assured they will be corrected. There is no such thing. There have been times when people got offended by the choice of words, but you have to understand, the statements we make are not only posted on our website, preached on a daily basis, but the odds are, there is more than one conversation taking place and the person who is responding has just been overwhelmed with those types of messages or posts on any given day. We all have a limit on what we can handle and those limits are pushed occasionally.
I'm sorry that sounds harsh, and it is harsh. Pigs deserve better than that and I am sick and tired of seeing people ask questions about specific situations they're having and then doing nothing to save their pig. I could not imagine watching a pig suffer and die. That would haunt me for the rest of my life. Should I be ashamed of myself for going off on a rant about this? I don't think so, but it doesn't matter anyways, I'm too busy being ashamed of the people doing these things.
These are the most common reasons we see with regards to people trying to find their pig a new home. ALL of these things could've been addressed BEFORE these people got a pig. We all know pigs grow, they don't stay teacup sized. A pig that grows much bigger than someone expects is probably the number 1 reason why a pig needs a new home. Unfortunately, it is also the most misrepresented aspect of "mini pigs". They are not mini at all, but this term has become a standard to use in order to distinguish the difference between a farm pig and a smaller breed like potbellied pig. The term itself can be misleading though.
The 2nd most used excuse is aggression. Intact pigs do not make great pets. Matter of fact, pigs can act like straight jerks at times. YOU have to train your pig to be a well mannered pig though. Your pig doesn't know how to act until you teach him/her how to act.
The number 3 place goes to zoning issues. Someone didn't check zoning before they brought a sweet little piglet home and one day they get a notice to remove the pig in 10 days or be faced with citations and/or fines. This usually coincides with a pig reaching about the 6 month-1 year mark, you know, the time when they start being "pig-headed" and slightly disruptive....
NONE of these excuses are good enough to leave your best friend behind. Please know what you are getting yourself in to before you bring a pig home. We have plenty of information, real pictures of real people's pigs that are more realistic than what someone may tell you the size will be. Just know that people will 1. lie, 2. exaggerate, 3. some honestly don't know because they're breeding babies. they have no idea how big these pigs will be at 3-5 years old because their pig is 2 years away from being 3 years old. Practice common sense, there are no healthy pigs under 50 pounds that are considered fully grown or 5 years old. This is debatable, of course, because some will say their pig is healthy, but I don't know that to be the case, sometimes the damage from malnutrition takes a toll on the body and that damage isn't seen for a few years. It is all very subjective. So use your best judgement, but look at the information that is out there. People have been dealing with pigs for 20+ years, rescues are full, there are pages and groups and organizations that have been created to find pigs new homes due to the high number of homes needed. Check with some of the well known organizations to see if they have an adoptable pig available before you pay 1500.00 for the same pig you would be able to adopt for a fraction of the cost.
Adding a porcine family member really boils down to education. If you know what to really expect, you are zoned to have a pig, how to prepare and are ready for a lifetime commitment, then you may make a great pig parent. If any one of those things aren't 100%, then you are likely not ready for a pig yet. Keep researching. Wait until it is the right time. Pigs don't do well with change. They can't be rehomed over and over again. They're sensitive and it is extremely hard on them to be placed in home after home and it isn't fair to do that to an animal because you failed them. Please do your research and be sure you are ready.
Here are some links to get you started.
Realisitc sizes of pigs- Click here.
What having a pet pig is like? Click here
Breeds of pigs- Click here
The "teacup" or "micro" pig MYTH- Click here
Is a pig the right pet for you, right now? Click here
Common myths about pigs- Click here
As a pig lover when I see the words "Help! My pig is sick" on the internet I often cringe on what could come next. What is interesting is that many of the people who are searching for pig health advice on social media don't seem to understand that it is not an appropriate place to diagnosis a pig. So why do pig parents search the internet for advice? Why can searching for a pigs medical advice on the internet be a bad idea? Can one find good advice on the internet? What are tips to consider when looking for information on your pigs health?
Many pig owners will search the internet or groups on Facebook created for pig parents just to obtain basic knowledge or information about an illness that their pig is experiencing. This allows them to be better equipped to ask questions about treatment and diagnostic testing for their pig. I would think that most veterinarians don’t have a problem with pet parents using the internet for this purpose. I personally consider it to be very proactive on a pig owner’s part. This is only an issue when a person receiving this information feels that they are just as knowledgeable, if not more, than the veterinarian. This is simply not the case. Having read about someones else's experience or finding someone more experienced than yourself does not mean that you are an expert. There are vets that see pigs and there are vets that specialize in pigs. There is a HUGE difference between the two. You must understand that during an emergency, if you are taking your pig to a vet that isn't familiar with pigs, there can be a horrible outcome. This is why it is so important to be prepared for anything. Learn as much as you can so you can identify signs of illness early on that can literally be life saving for your pig, but do NOT take someone who you do NOT know, whose credentials you do NOT have, as credible. For all you know, the person giving advice has only had a pig for a few months. (I have seen that happen.) Let me add, in our mini pig info group, we have seen posts made by other pig parents who were concerned about their pigs even AFTER being seen by a vet and after asking additional questions and/or requesting pictures, DEADLY infections have been identified and treated appropriately likely saving a pigs life. So, it is bitter sweet to say the least. Not everyone is an expert, not everyone understands medical terminology, not everyone understands pigs to be honest. You combine those 3 things and it can be quite dangerous.
This is probably one of the most common causes for seeking advice on the internet. It is Murphy’s law that when a pig is sick, it is usually at the most inconvenient time. Typically, it is at a time when there is financial distress and often at a time when there is little money available for a veterinarian. This can lead to a desperate search for answers for a quick and inexpensive treatment. This causes a search for a home remedy to save money and fix everything. There isn't a home remedy that can treat a bacterial infection. When your pig has a fever of 104 and is off feed, medical care is needed, not oils and a prayer. What you may not know is that time spent online getting advice from strangers can actually cost your pig its life. Some illnesses have an acute phase that requires treatment to be given within a particular time frame and if that is not done, or you decide that a home remedy would be best instead of taking your pig to the vet, your pig may die as a result.
I do understand everyone has their own budget and financial issues, but these are costs you need to consider and have a plan in place BEFORE you have an emergency. Apply for a care credit card, this is a credit card accepted by many veterinary practices. Have a pig account where you're taking 10.00 or 20.00 every payday and setting it aside in case your pig does have an issue and needs some kind of specialized care later on down the line. Some vet practices will allow you to make payments too. All of this will be dependent on your relationship with your vet.Your previous financial issues are not your pigs fault, so your should should not have to suffer because of your lack of money management skills. You should have an established relationship with a veterinarian, someone who knows you and your pig, a person who knows illnesses and disease in your region, and one that sees pigs preferably one who specializes in them. If you do not have a vet, please find one ASAP. Check out our vet map by clicking here. However, because it is understood that emergencies happen at the worst moments ever, Mo Money For Pigs was created and established to help pigs in need so no pig was ever left behind. MMFP is a 501c3 nonprofit charity that raises money to help families with unexpected emergencies when they're unable to pay these vet bills. The pig community has been very generous in the past by donating to people they don't even know when they have unusual circumstances and enormous vet bills, just so that money isn't prohibiting a pig from getting the vet care a pig needs.
Seeking another opinion
The difference in an experienced pig vet versus a vet that will see pigs can literally be the difference between life and death. We mentioned this earlier in the blog. Treatment does always work the same in all animals, even the same species. This can be frustrating for veterinarians and pig owners alike. Frustration can lead pig parents to seek information from another source. Often the source ends up being the internet. Sometimes pig parents may also seek another alternative if there are concerns about potential side effects or expense of a specific treatment as well. The medical expenses can sometimes be overwhelming for animals like mini pigs because they're often considered "exotic" and we all know "exotic" means it will likely cost more money. This is why it is so important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian that has a basic understanding of pigs, but preferably one who is very knowledgable about them. If they do not have an extensive background in pigs, ask them if they have a colleague that does, perhaps they can call someone at one of the well known clinics such as UT (University of Tennessee) which can give your vet the confidence he/she needs to address your pigs health issue appropriately. There are actually several vets that will consult via the phone. We are working on a list of those vets willing to coach another vet now. That list will be added to our vet page as a willing consultant vet.
Is searching online or in Facebook groups for medical advice for your pig a good idea?
There are multiple factors that affect the answer to this question. There have been illnesses that have been identified and successfully treated because someone posted about their experience with their vet in these Facebook groups-by people in the group. Veterinarians aren't perfect, they cannot possibly know every disease for every species and breed of animal and because pigs are not the most common household pet, it is possible for your pig to be misdiagnosed. This is why you should know what diseases are most common and have the ability to identify the onset early on so treatment can be initiated sooner rather than later. We created a whole section on our website dedicated to educating pig parents about common and even not so common illnesses and diseases that can affect pigs. We included some that aren't common in the United States, but could be for another country since we have followers from all over the world. You can go to that section by clicking here. The problem is, the information isn't always "exciting" to read. It wasn't exciting to write either, but it was more important to have it available to anyone who needed it. It is always good to know "too much" rather than not enough. That isn't to say you should question your vets every move, but it should be expected that you have questions. Most veterinarians do not mind answering your questions and they typically have that same desire to educate that we do.
Recently there was someone with a sick pig that took their pig to the vet and their pig received a shot of "long-lasting antibiotics" and the vet planned to return to give another shot in a few days, but she wasn't sure about the rash the pig had and would check to see if it was worse, better or the same in a few days when she returned. The pig's mother posted about her pig and included pictures of the "rash". Those with experience were quickly able to identify the classic erysipelas lesions and alerted the pigs mama so she could properly treat her pig. This intervention likely saved her pigs life. Had she not posted and included pictures but waited for her vet to return days later? Her pig most likely wouldn't have survived. This is one example when posting on Facebook can be helpful.
Last month, we received a private message from one of our followers who said that her pig had some hoof deformities and she had messaged another page, included a picture and the immediate response was simply "that pig needs to be put down". That is HORRIBLE! I asked her some questions like how old he was, how long he's had this deformity, how does he do day to day now, what is his quality of life, does it seem to bother him, etc. Come to find out, this pig was older and had been living with this deformity his whole life. Someone who doesn't ask questions and simply replies without having ALL the information because they failed to ask about situations or circumstances, shouldn't be giving advice to anyone. I do not know who originally gave this woman advice about her pig, but had they asked a few key questions, they would've known that she was simply asking a hoof question and not whether or not her pig should be euthanized. What a horrifying experience for her. But that is exactly my point.
You do not always know who is giving advice nor their experience/credentials. Some people think they are much smarter than they actually are. Google University degrees are not sufficient in these cases. There are times when the ONLY advice ANYONE could give is to IMMEDIATELY take the pig to the vet. That is the problem though. Some people would rather stroke their ego than admit they do not know the answer. That is awful, but that is how some people are.
Consider the source
With the internet being an open source, anybody can give pet health advice on the internet, even people who have no health or veterinary experience at all. So considering the source is very important when trying to discern good advice from bad. Beware of websites that bash veterinarians or claim to know more than your veterinarian would. These “vendetta” websites are those sites that are created by people who either had a bad experience with a veterinarian, organization or a specific drug or any combination of those things. As a result, they may exaggerate their experience and/or claim to be veterinary professionals. These websites often offer advice with the goal to discredit veterinarians or others versus to help pigs.
Websites that sell treatments or so-called cures for specific deadly diseases are dangerous as well. These websites often feed on a pet owner’s desperation by offering a cure for a disease that is not sanctioned by a veterinarian. Buyer beware. There are not many websites like this that target the pig community, but as the popularity of pigs as pets continues to grow, I am sure someone will eventually target the pig community with these type of products.
People who have limited to no experience with veterinary medicine at all can be guilty of giving bad advice. Don’t get me wrong there are pig parents who are able to share great pig health advice from experience gained from their previous pig’s illness. But there are pig people who claim they are pig health experts because they have several pigs regardless of their lack of veterinary experience or health care related fields. As a result, there is often bad advice given and because the person seeking the advice is often desperate, before someone who may have more experience can intervene, the bad advice was implemented and there may be life altering results. Someone's pig may die because there are people who "know it all" and cannot learn anything.
The person you are chatting with online may not be as smart as he/she thinks they are. That person may not be as knowledgable as you think they are, matter of fact, they might not even be who they claim they are, much less know anything about pigs other than they're cute. Before taking advice from someone you do not know, please do your research. Know who you're chatting with, know their experience, know that the advice you're getting will not do more harm than good. Any decent person will know their limitations and will say "I don't know"...they may throw out some ideas, but ultimately, their suggestion will likely be to call your vet. That is what people, who know their limitations, will suggest.
Our website is a general guide that people can choose to or choose not to follow, but it has never been intended to replace your veterinarian's advice. We have suggestions on just about every page for one thing or another and believe me, we get many many private messages on the Mini Pig Info Facebook page, posted to the page, by personal message to one or more admin of the page and/or by email, sometimes even by phone or text. We try to help as many people as possible, but there are times when a vet is the ONLY person that should be giving advice...people who message us for help seem to understand that. If there is something going on that we are able to give advice, then we do. We have a lot of experience to offer on our team and we are extremely grateful for that because it gives us the ability, for at least one of us, to have had experience with some of the more unusual situations; thus being able to give some sound advice for just about anything. However, when there is a question or concern that needs to be addressed by a licensed professional, we refer them to their vet. That is what responsible people do.
Consider the knowledge of the pig parent doing the search
Yes you, as a pig parent, have to consider what knowledge, or lack of, when researching information online. While it is not expected that every pig parent will have the same amount of knowledge when it comes their pig’s health, they should be able to know when the information they are reading isn't understood. Reason being is that it will affect how you comprehend the information that you are looking for. Some information that is sought has to be considered in context. When information is taken from articles and rewritten, there are times when key points are not included which ultimately change the whole dynamic of the information posted online. Unfortunately, it can be easy to misinterpret even the most reliable information. People are extremists and will sometimes go overboard with advice that is given. Some think they know more than truly experienced people within the pig community and their pig suffers as a result. As a pig parent, you should be familiar or at least aware, of the more common diseases and illnesses that can affect pigs. As mentioned above, knowing how to identify some of these life threatening diseases and understanding that time is not on your side should prompt you to take your pig to the vet immediately and this can literally save your pigs life.
If you are seeking advice online and people are suggesting that you take your pig to the vet and you fail to do so, you can expect people to be outraged, especially days later when your pig continues to have the same medical problem, yet you have failed to listen to the advice that was originally given to you. I think that is great that so many seasoned pig people are willing and available to answer questions, but sometimes, there is only so much anyone can do to help your pig. Some pigs need a hands on examination, sometimes surgery and/or medications that cannot be purchased at a local store. It is truly sad when people do not take their pig to their veterinarian and the pig suffers or even dies as a result. What is even sometimes more frustrating is people who will make a post that they're having an emergency, do not give many details and then disappear for hours without responding to the questions people have asked to help them. If your pig is having a true emergency, do NOT waste precious time posting to Facebook, TAKE YOUR PIG TO THE VET! If you are waiting for a call back or are on the way to your vet and you want some opinions on what may be going on, fine, make a post and ask. But, do NOT try to avoid a veterinarian visit altogether if that is the most appropriate and best treatment.
Consider the pig and their particular symptoms
My biggest pet peeve when reading advice is when people make the assumption that all pets are somehow the same. Pigs are NOT dogs, therefore what works for a dog isn't the best treatment for a pig. All pets are not the same! I will repeat all pets are not the same! Unfortunately, most bad advice is based on this premise. People will talk about a treatment that worked great for their pig and assume it will work great for every other pig. You also have the contrary where a pig will have a bad experience with one type of treatment or medication, therefore people post warnings for all pig parents to beware. Why is this significant? If all pigs were the same, it definitely would make a veterinarian's job much easier. Because one pig parent had a bad experience with a particular medication or treatment doesn't mean ALL pigs will.
Another issue is when people do come to the page or make a post in our group is that super important details are omitted. Use our heath form, this was created for situations so that ALL symptoms would be listed. This will help your vet too, especially in prioritizing. If you call your vet and say your pig looks weak, but fail to mention that your pig has blood in the poop, your vet may not think your situation is as urgent as it really is. If you cannot find a vet or your vet isn't available and as a last resort, you are looking for ANY help in these pig groups, please be very detail oriented. Even when questions are asked, important details still do not surface until hours, sometimes days later. ALL the details matter. You may not realize it, but someone experienced will.
I can tell you, based on my experience, it is quite the opposite. When addressing illnesses in pigs, veterinarians have to consider many factors prior to getting to a treatment plan or even a diagnosis. Some of these factors include the age and size of the pig. Other factors to consider are....any previous history of illnesses, previous medical history and preventative care, exposure to other pigs/animals, any current medications, or any risk of exposure to toxins. Pigs have some diseases and illnesses that only affect pigs and if a veterinarian has limited experience with pigs, it may be more difficult for them to come to a conclusive and accurate diagnosis. These factors are why all pigs are not the same. With bad advice, these factors are not considered at all.
I recently heard of a pig that passed away because the symptoms the pig was having weren't taken seriously in addition to terrible advice given by someone else. I do not know where this took place, but apparently a pig was suffering from water deprivation and someone was insistent that milk would solve the problem. Milk? Really? As I said in the beginning of this short story, that pig passed away. Bad advice like that can kill your pig. Do not listen to just anyone because that person may be new to pigs too and that google university degree won't go far when push comes to shove. You cannot base advice on only one symptom. The whole situation needs to be addressed because normally there is more than one thing that has contributed to the sickness and for certain illnesses, there are protocols that need to be followed to safely treat your pig.
Researching information about pigs is encouraged. Learn as much as possible so you can identify an illness in its early stages so treatment can be started sooner; all these things increase your pigs chance of survival. When it comes to seeking advice about your pigs’s health, I recommend seeking your veterinarian first. If your veterinarian is not available for whatever reason, it is suggested that you seek advice from another veterinarian which may include an emergency veterinarian if it is after hours. What people need to realize about online advice is....
Please be responsible and take your obligation to your pig seriously. Have a vet, have a back up vet and an emergency vet, a mobile vet, know where the closest university vet teaching hospital is and some money set aside for emergencies. Do not expect social media to be your primary caregiver because you may take advice from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about and your pig may die as a result. Sickness happens, accidents happen, be prepared as best as you can. Read up on common diseases/illnesses that affect pigs. Know how to identify your pig may be sick so you know when it is appropriate to take your pig to the vet. Use the tools that are available to you such as the health form we have on the website. It is a form you can use should your pig get sick that will help you when you call your vet to discuss your emergency with all the information that he/she will need to let you know what you need to do. Read up on the diseases we have added to the website so you know how to react should your pig shows signs of a particular illness. Use our vet list and/or vet map to find a veterinarian close by to you. More importantly, love your pig enough to get medical care when it is appropriate.
Our names are Brittany Sawyer and Nicole Cox and we are pig parents, pig advocates and also the authors of the "Dear Pig Whisperer" blog. Follow our blog that will feature topics to help you become the best pig parent you can be...along with some other fun things. We will also feature guest bloggers from time to time who want to share their life experience or knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning.
All information was collected and/or written by the creators of the website unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to us, please email us at email@example.com or via our Facebook page by clicking here. Feel free to share the links to the website, that is why it was created. This website does NOT take the place of your veterinarian's advice. Please seek emergency veterinarian care if your pig is sick or injured!!
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