PIG-A-SUS Homestead

Health and Wellness

Pig-A-Sus offers health and care classes for one or more and has a problem solving clinic.  For more information contact us. These are just a few tips for good Potbelly Pig health. For more information, please visit our resource page. If you have serious concerns about your pig's health consult a veterinarian immediately. 

First Aid Kit For Potbelly Pigs

Some Helpful Links

don't forget your potbelly pig medical needs

I am not a veterinarian. This is a list composed for our INDIVIDUAL use at PIG-A-SUS Homestead Sanctuary. 
Please use a reference when consulting your vet for care or information.

Potbelly Pig Normal Body Stats


Rectal Temperature






Average Litter Size

Adult Size

Full Growth

101-104 Degrees F

70-110 per Minute

20-30 per Minute

2-4 Months

19-25 Days

106-113 Days

4-13 Piglets

60-175 Pounds


Atrophic Rhinitis

Mycoplasma Pneumonia**



We recommend these vaccinations yearly, whether you have 1 pig or a bunch. All vaccinations are given in 2cc dosage. We use the loose skin on the flank area. Sometimes a pea size lump will appear at the vaccination sight and remain for 2-3 weeks. This is normal.
**(We find this helps with respiratory infections) given in early fall of the year

101-104 Degrees F

70-110 per Minute

20-30 per Minute

2-4 Months

Potbellies need regular hoof pedicures. Some, more than others, depending on the type of surface they spend their time on. In most cases the front feet need more attention than the back. Be careful of the “quick”. This can grow into an overgrown wall. If blood starts to ooze, stop immediately. Their foot trim is one of the most important parts of their health care, as proper hoof care will prevent most crippling as the pig ages.
Being involved in the rescue aspect of Potbelly Pigs, improper nutrition is one of the most common forms of abuse we see. Many people think pigs will eat anything and so they feed their pigs everything. Pigs should be fed Pig Food. A Potbelly Pig’s weight should be monitored monthly. Their food should be rationed and the ration should be increased with age. Older Potbellies should be fed twice daily. Along with rationed food you may give your pig a children’s chewable vitamin and a vitamin E.

Treats may be given in between meals but these should be limited to fruit such as raisins, grapes and bananas, or unsweetened cereal.

Overfeeding your Potbelly Pig is abuse! You know how your body reacts to excess weight; imagine theirs.
Obesity may cause life threatening problems for your Potbelly Pig including eye problems, blindness, lameness, stress, heart problems, inability to exercise and an inability to escape physical danger.

Obese pigs need extra amounts of fluid, such as water or juice, to survive but avoid drinks with added sugar. Proper nutrition is the only way to prevent obesity.  The picture below shows a rescued mother to be and her babies,  The mother was at the unhealthy weight of 285lbs, she should weigh 75-100lbs.  The rescue was from a puppy mill where she gave birth twice a year and was fed dog food instead of a healthy diet.  The babies were born very small and under nourished as the mother had no milk to give.  Babies had to be bottle fed.

Symptoms: hair loss, coughing, low grade fever or bloody diarrhea. Most Potbellies are worm free. If you are concerned about parasites, collect a clean stool sample and have your vet check it out. Ivomec and AtGard are excellent de-wormers.

Arthritis is a very progressive ailment in older overweight Potbelly Pigs. Try giving 325 mg (a 5 grain) aspirin two times a day. Flavored baby aspirin may be a bit easier on your pig’s stomach. One children’s Baby aspirin is 81 mg so four baby aspirin equals 325 mg. Adjust According to Potbelly size.

Potbellies get two types of mange.

1. Demodectic-small nodules that look like small blisters or sores that may contain a creamy paste. 
This type does not infect other animals or humans.

2. Sarcoptic-caused by a mite, the symptom is severe itching. The pig may do more damage to 
himself by scratching than the mange itself. This type does infect humans and other animals.

Baths and some kind of lotion may be “an ounce of prevention”.


The disease in swine is caused by the bacterium Eryssipelothrix Rhusiopathiae and is manifested by acute or subacute septicemia and chronic proliferative lesions. The acute disease has the bacteria in the animals circulation and causes severe lesions throughout the animals body.

Skin lesions, joint lesions and heart lesions are all frequently seen as a result of this infection. Animals under three months of age or over three years of age are less commonly affected.

Most often infection occurs when susceptible pigs contact infected pigs that are shedding organisms. It has been estimated that from 1/3 to 1/2 of all pigs harbor the organism in their tonsils and other lymphoid tissues. The majority of these animals do not show signs of the disease, they have sub 
clinical (unrecognized) infections.

The clinical signs of swine erysipelas can be divided into three general headings; i.e. cause infection, sub acute infection and chronic infection.

  • Sudden onset (find a pig dead)
  • Depression
  • Reluctance to move – stiff, sore gait
  • Fevers (104°F to 108°F)
  • Failure to eat
  • Skin lesions (Diamond Skin)

Similar symptoms as acute form only less severe i.e. lower temperatures and milder signs.

This form often is seen three or more weeks after the initial infection and the signs exhibited result from the chronic proliferation’s typical of the disease. If the proliferation’s occur on the heart valves, then exercise intolerance is observed. If the proliferation’s occur in and around the joint surfaces then stiffness and enlargements of the structures are seen.

Swine erysipelas is of real concern to the potbelly pig and to their owners. This disease is widespread over the world. Prevention is much preferred to treatment and bacteria’s are available that offer protection. Treatment of the disease is very often successful if started early in the course of the disease. The antibiotic penicillin is most often the drug of choice.

The organism causes disease in sheep and turkeys as well as many other species of wild and domestic mammals and birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Human infection occurs as an occupational disease of persons handling and processing meat from infected animals. The disease in humans produces local skin lesions known as erysipeloid. On rare occasions humans may develop heart lesions and generalized widespread infections.

Have questions? We have answers.