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Companion Animal Practice
Pet pig medicine
  1. John Carr

    John Carr graduated from Liverpool in 1982. After a spell in general practice in Liverpool and Dumfries, he returned to Liverpool in 1988, where he was the Leverhulme resident in pigs. He then spent some time teaching pig medicine in the UK and USA. He is a senior lecturer at Murdoch University in Australia.

  2. Arlen Wilbers

    Arlen Wilbers has been a large animal practitioner for the past 21 years in Quakertown, in the USA. He has been treating potbellied pigs for 18 years, and sees over 600 pet pigs for routine care as well as medical and surgical visits. He holds a DVM from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

1. The normal pig


PET pigs are related to the Vietnamese potbellied pig, but many are also crossbred with commercial breeds such as the Large White, which can result in interesting body colour combinations. Some owners keep rare breeds, which helps to preserve genetic diversity. All pet pigs are the same species as commercial pigs – Sus scrofa – and this also includes the European wild boar. Management of pet pigs is subtly different from that of commercial pigs, and this should be borne in mind when dealing with these animals. This article describes how to handle and examine the pet pig, highlighting the normal parameters for these animals, and outlines the measures that can be implemented to prevent disease. An article in the next issue will discuss problems commonly encountered in pet pigs.

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