Routine Veterinary Care of the Miniature Pig

piglets J P FCC

Save the Date

Save the date for a continuing education webinar R.A.C.E.-approved for 1 hour of continuing education that will be presented by Kristie Mozzachio, DVM, DACVP, CVA

Date: Sunday, April 7 2019
Time: 2 pm EDT (New York); What time is that in my time zone?

Register today for this free, interactive web-based seminar.


Register now, then join us on Sunday, April 7 for this complimentary, interactive event.

register now

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via To access the webinar on April 7, simply select the URL link in the confirmation email.

To enter the webinar “room”, you will be prompted to download webinar service software. This software can be downloaded immediately before the webinar or right now to ensure a pleasant viewing experience.


Lecture outline

Lecture topics will include:

pig Juliana Thielen
  • Handling & restraint
    • Holding small pigs
    • Crowd/sorting board
    • Crate
    • Harness
    • “The Pig Flip”
      • Trazodone + Gabapentin
      • Midazolam
      • Midazolam + Butorphanol + Xylazine (or dexmedetomidine)
    • Chemical restraint
  • Routine veterinary procedures
    • Physical examination
      • T: 99.7-102°F
      • P: 70-80/min
      • R: 13-18/min
      • Life expectancy: 17-21 years
    • Hoof trim
    • Tusk trim (males)
    • Vaccination
    • Deworming
    • Nutrition


Mini pigs remain a surprisingly common pet, with a resurgence in popularity every few years. Owners typically have a “small animal mindset”, and as such, seek like-minded veterinarians, but lack of training and paucity of resources leads many veterinarians to shy away from these unique pets.

Pigs are prey animals and behave accordingly, making handling and restraint one of the most difficult aspects of patient care. Crowd or sorting boards are the most important piece of specialized handling equipment, although smaller pigs can be held, larger pigs can be flipped, and if necessary, safe sedation protocols exist to make these stubborn and vocal patients more manageable. Once the hurdle of restraint has been surmounted, veterinary care is relatively straightforward and often extrapolated from other pet species.

Physical exam of the pet pig is largely visual, with observation of body and hoof condition, attitude, ambulation and mentation. Knowledge of normal anatomy such as carpal glands and preputial diverticulum is helpful as these may cause concern for the uneducated owner. Nutritional advice is often needed as well since some commercially prepared minipig feeds may provide inaccurate label instructions that lead to obesity. On the contrary, unscrupulous breeders may suggest feeding protocols that lead to malnutrition and emaciation in an effort to keep the pet at the small size promised. Owners must not only be taught to “feed to body condition” but must understand what constitutes good body condition in a minipig.

Hoof trim, tusk trim, deworming and vaccination are the most common procedures performed by the veterinarian. Hoof trim, with proper shaping and balancing, is needed every year at a minimum; tusk trim may be occasionally needed for males but, as risk of tooth infection is high, only certain conditions warrant trimming. There is no universally accepted vaccination protocol, so the pet pig practitioner must develop one suited to the pig’s environment and potential exposure, all while adhering to label instructions geared to much larger swine. Even deworming protocols vary, although evaluation is similar to other species and drug dosages specific to swine are available.

Overall, mini pigs can be a challenging species to vet, but with some guidance on their uniquities, pet pig health can be easily maintained.

About the presenter

Kristie Mozzachio operates a mobile “pet pig exclusive” practice serving the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She provides consults on pet pigs as well as research mini pigs, both nationally and internationally. She also serves as a veterinary advisor for Ross Mill Farm & Piggy Camp and Refuge GroinGroin in France. Dr. Mozzachio has also lectured on mini pigs at numerous meetings, and most recently she has co-authored mini pig chapters in the Exotic Animal Formulary and Diseases of Swine. MORE

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Webinar FAQ

How do I view the live webinar event?

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via To access the webinar on April 7 at 2 pm EDT, simply select the URL link in the confirmation email.

Do I need special equipment to view and listen to a webinar?
All you need is a computer (or similar device) with an internet connection. Provided your computer has speakers (can you listen to music?) you will be able to view and listen to the webinar.

To enter the webinar “room”, you will be prompted to download webinar service software. This software can be downloaded immediately before the webinar or right now to ensure a pleasant viewing experience.

What web browsers are recommended?
Recommended browsers include Internet Explorer 8 or greater, Mozilla Firefox 3 or greater, Google Chrome or Safari 4 or later. Adobe® Flash® Player 11.3 or later must be installed.

What if I’d like to view the course on a mobile device?
Apps for viewing the webinar are available for Apple devices and Android devices.

Will I be able to ask questions?
If you attend the live webinar, you will be able to ask questions by typing into a chat box on the webinar screen. The speaker will read out and answer as many of the questions as possible.

What happens if I miss the live webinar?

The webinar will be recorded, and the recorded version will be available for viewing within 3 business days of the live presentation.

Additional questions or concerns?
Please contact LafeberVet at


RACE approval

This program 776-36251 is approved by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) Registry of Continuing Education (R.A.C.E.) to offer a total of 1.00 CE credits to any one veterinarian and/or 1.00 veterinary technician CE credit. This RACE approval is for Category Two: Non-Scientific Clinical using the delivery method of Interactive-Distance/Non-Interactive Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board’s CE requirements. RACE does not “accredit” or “endorse” or “certify” any program or person, nor does RACE approval validate the content of the program.