Potbellied Pig House Call Information

Large Mammals

If you have a potbellied pig, please read the following information before scheduling a house call.

Pigs must be physically restrained in order for a veterinarian to examine your pig and perform any necessary procedures. Well before the veterinarian is due to arrive for the house call, you must confine you pig to a small area where it can be caught easily.

If you have an indoor pig, place it in a room in the house or a back porch with a sturdy door and closed and locked doggie doors. A dog kennel or crate works well. If you've trained your pig to wear a harness, please harness you pig and place it on a leash before the appointment.
 
If you have an outdoor pig, you must confine your pig in a shaded stall, a crate, or some other small area so that it is not running free when the veterinarian arrives. If your pig has to be chased and caught, this is stressful to the pig and will increase the length of time needed for the house call.

If your pig is not confined or restrained when the veterinarian arrives, a charge will be added to your bill at the rate of $75 per 15 minutes of time required to capture the loose pig.

Please call the hospital prior to your house call appointment if you have any questions or concerns regarding confining your pig.     
 
The veterinarian and assistant will lift your pig by the front end and flip it over on the back for the examination and some procedures. Most pigs will scream at first but calm down on their backs.  Your pig will lie on its back on a soft pad.  Feel free to give your pig small amounts of favorite treats before and after the exam so that it associates the veterinarian with something good.  
 
Your pig may need to be sedated for the exam and any procedures.  The sedative may last for 3 to 4 hours. Your pig may be sleepy or stumble when walking while it is sedated.  To prevent drowining, you must confine your pig away from a pool or pond for several hours until it is acting completely normal.

Please note that a house call limits what the veterinarian can do for your pig. The veterinarian can vaccinate, hoof trim, tusk trim, and collect blood and fecal samples for testing. If your pig is ill or injured, it may need diagnostic tests and treatments that must be performed at the hospital.  Any procedure requiring anesthesia, such as surgery or dental care, will be performed at the hospital and not at your home.
 
If you have a large adult pig that is not trained to travel in a car, you can still get your pig to the hospital.  You'll need a portable dog crate which are available in sizes that accommodate even the largest pot-bellied pigs.  You may train your pig to go into the crate quickly by placing its food and favorite treats inside. Once it is inside the crate, quickly close the crate's door and make sure it is locked. Continue to give it treats to keep it distracted and calm. You may need help loading the crate into your car. When you arrive at the hospital, you may pull up to the front door and walk inside to ask for help. Our staff will help move the pig to the examination room.

If you would like more information on training and handling your pig, the following resources may be helpful: “The Complete Guide for the Care and Training of Pet Potbellied Pigs” by Kathleen Myers and North American Potbellied Pig Association:  www.petpigs.com