Your new potbellied pig can suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses, just like you can. One of these illnesses is gastritis. Gastritis refers to either inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining, and it's common in pigs. Here are three things potbellied pig owners need to know about gastritis.
What are the signs of gastritis?
Gastritis causes symptoms like vomiting and colic. Colic means abdominal pain, and this pain may make your pig cry out in pain, become lethargic or lose interest in their food.
How do potbellied pigs get gastritis?
Potbellied pigs are omnivores and will eat any type of food that you put in front of them. In the wild, they need to scavenge for food like bugs and worms, and while there's no need for them to constantly hunt for food inside your house, they still do it. On their quest for food, they may encounter small objects that have fallen on your floor like pens, coins, children's toys or socks. If they ingest these non-food items, they'll irritate their stomachs and develop gastritis.
How do vets treat gastritis?
The treatment for gastritis varies based on its cause. If your pig swallowed a small object that should be able to pass through its intestines and bowels without trouble, like a coin, you will just need to monitor your pet to make sure the object is passed. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if the small object is causing significant irritation to your pet's stomach.
If your pig swallowed a large object that won't be able to pass through their gastrointestinal tract, like a sock, they'll need surgery to remove it. Potbellied pigs are given general anesthesia for surgical procedures; this means that your pet will be totally asleep while the vet is working. The vet will make an incision in your pig's abdomen to access part of the gastrointestinal tract that is blocked by the foreign object. The object will then be removed, and your pig will be sewn up.
Once the surgery is over, your pig will be sent home to recover. The incision may become infected, so keep an eye on it for about 14 days after the surgery. The incision can be cleaned with diluted iodine to keep it from getting infected. Don't let your pig run or jump while their incision is healing as this could tear their stitches.
If your pig ingested a non-edible object and are now vomiting and in pain, take them to a vet immediately. To learn more, contact a pet doctor by Peninsula Crossing Animal Hospital.