Both males and female pigs possess modified upper and lower canine teeth or tusks, however, the tusks of the male retain an open root that allows these teeth to grow throughout life. Tusks can become long and extremely sharp and trims may be necessary to prevent injury to humans, other animals, household furniture, flooring, or even the pig itself. This brief article discusses relevant anatomy, equipment needed, potential complications, sedation, and step-by-step advice for successfully completing this clinical technique.
Hooves that are not maintained can overgrow and curl, resulting in pain, difficulty walking, and damage to the soft tissue structures of the foot. The medial and lateral digits, that do not contact the ground much, will grow long and require trimming in all pet pigs. Therefore most pigs require hoof trims every 6-12 months. This brief article discusses relevant anatomy, equipment needed, potential complications, sedation, and step-by-step advice for successfully completing this clinical technique.
Blood collection in miniature pigs can be a challenge. Peripheral veins are not readily accessible and some vessels, such as the auricular vein, are inadequate for obtaining sufficient volumes. The radial vein is located along the medial aspect of the forelimb. This vessel is relatively straight and generally superficial.
Valarie Tynes owns Premier Veterinary Behavior Consulting in Sweetwater, Texas. Dr. Tynes is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. After several years in private practice, Valarie completed a residency in clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis in 2003. Her special interests include miniature pigs and other exotic pets as well as animal behavior. Dr. Tynes is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a frequent speaker at professional meetings around the world.