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Choosing a Vet

Sooner or later you are going to need a Vet. Don't wait till the last minute to address this question! You may regret it when a crisis comes up.

Here are 5 questions you should ask your Vet before allowing him/her to treat your pet pig, or even BEFORE you get a pig.

  1. Has this Vet ever worked with potbellied pigs before? If not, does he/she know of a Vet who has? Or is he/she willing to learn? (Some vets are not willing to learn. They just assume PBP's are treated the same as farm pigs, which is a very big mistake.)

  2. If the answer to #1 is yes, can he tell you of other pot belly pig owners that are clients so you may talk with them and gain their experiences and share yours with them about potbellies.

  3. Are you allowed to stay with your animal at all times while being treated? You should always be allowed to stay with your pig when getting shots. You should also demand to be present when the pig is being put under for surgery (we have done this, so do not be afraid to ask). Insist on being there when your pig awakens.

  4. Does your Vet listen when you have questions or offer advice or information? If the answer to this question is No, FIND ANOTHER VET! Some Vets dismiss pet owners outright as not knowing anything. When it comes to pot belly pigs, this belief is usually wrong. (I lost my first pig by not following this rule. The Vet said he would do one thing, then did another.)

  5. What would the Vet do, in the event the animal bit him? What would be his reaction, i.e., want to destroy the animal to test for rabies? Notify authorities? What would be his reaction?

These five questions are very important. Your Vet should be willing to discuss these with you for as long as it takes, until you are satisfied you have enough information. If your Vet is not willing to sit down and answer these questions, or does not give you complete answers, or refuses to refer you to existing clients with potbelly pigs, FIND ANOTHER VET!!

As we mentioned above, we lost our very first little boy because the vet (actually a veterinary college) did not do what they said they would do. They used swine anesthesia rather than Iso gas. We got our little boy home and he died about 10 hours later in our arms (reaction to the swine anesthesia). You do NOT want to go through this!

Again, do not be afraid to ask these questions. You are paying for this service and your pig is depending on YOU to do the right thing. So, ask the questions, and any others you feel you need to ask. And make sure you get the answers you want (in writing if necessary). If your vet is not open to this, gives you attitude, or refuses to listen, GET ANOTHER VET!

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The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among othsrs. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.