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Companion Animal Practice
Reproductive surgery in the pet pig
  1. John Carr

    John Carr graduated from Liverpool in 1982. After spending some time in general practice in Liverpool and Dumfries, he returned to Liverpool University in 1988 where he was the Leverhulme resident in pigs. He then spent two years at the Royal Veterinary College and two years at the University of North Carolina teaching pig medicine. In 1992, he returned to the UK and specialised in pig health while working at the Garth Veterinary Group in Yorkshire. He holds a PhD for studies on the pathogenesis of pyelonephritis and cystitis in pigs, and obtained the diploma in pig medicine in 1996. He currently holds a teaching post at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.


PIGS are an increasingly popular, albeit unusual, pet. The two breeds which are most commonly kept as pets are the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and the Kune Kune. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, are relatively easy to train and, when kept in a loving environment, present with few behavioural problems. However, puberty and its subsequent reproductive changes can result in the development of unpleasant and potentially dangerous behavioural traits, which may require surgical correction. This article briefly reviews a number of important considerations relating to reproductive surgery in the pet pig. When handling pigs it is worth remembering that they have a powerful neck and bite, and even pet varieties can weigh around 100 kg and outrun most humans.

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