A Pot Bellied Pig can be an integral part of some families and it is difficult to find a veterinarian who will provide care for these rather unusual pets. They can be noisy and aggressive and difficult to provide care for... However, when one enters your heart and you consider him a part of your family and you want to provide a peaceful passing for your friend, we are there to help you make this event peaceful and gentle. We will treat your Pot Bellied Pig with the same caring and compassion as we do other species. Our doctors are trained to care for your Pot-Bellied Pig in his End of Life in the most peaceful way possible.
When you are preparing for your pet pig's euthanasia, it is important to choose a veterinarian who has experience working with this species and who is very familiar with proper restraint techniques, sedation protocol and euthanasia techniques for pigs. They are very different from dogs and cats and it is important to know the differences in order to provide your pig a peaceful passing.
If you have been around Pigs, you know that they are rowdy and cantankerous and that they do not submit to procedures good heartedly and with good humor. When they are not happy with something, they let you know! Therefore, a key component of a peaceful euthanasia for a Pot-Bellied pig is proper sedation achieved rapidly and with minimal (or no) roughhousing. As you are the one most familiar with your pig, you will be asked to help restrain him. It is important to be prepared properly so that no excessive rough housing occurs. You have undoubtedly had to deal with doing procedures on your pig during his lifetime, so you are likely already familiar with the best way to do this. Our recommendation is to use a large thick enough plywood board and to have him already be in an area where he can easily be cornered. Once he is in a position where it will be safe for the doctor to administer the first injection, the doctor will give the sedative. With the sedation protocol we use for Pot-Bellied Pigs, your baby will be peacefully snoozing within minutes of its administration and the euthanasia procedure will be peaceful and completely painless.
Now we move on to the Pot-Bellied Pig Euthanasia procedure. Many pet owners are scared of the prospect of their baby receiving an Intra-Cardiac injection. This fear stems from horror stories about a pet not being sufficiently sedated or not being sedated at all. The Intra-Cardiac injection method is unacceptable and cruel ONLY IF NOT DONE PROPERLY. However, when a pet is PROPERLY sedated, it is not only a peaceful method of euthanasia, but is also completely painless and achieves a peaceful passing very rapidly and smoothly. There is mention in the literature of the possibility of using a marginal ear vein for IV injections in pigs. This method is not very practical, especially in the case of an End of Life pet who is frequently dehydrated, emaciated and ill. Attempting an IV injection in a ear margin vein can add much time to the procedure and make it unnecessarily lengthy and uncomfortable for the family who will often become worried and upset. The reason the IV injection is practically impossible to achieve in a pig is because of the illnesses described above AND because of the extraordinarily thick and tough skin that pigs possess.
On the other hand, because the sedation protocol we use approximates the level of anesthesia required to perform surgery and therefore eliminates conscious perception and pain, on a properly sedated Pot-Bellied Pig, the IC method is peaceful, quick and completely painless. Your pig will pass away gently and the only thing you will observe is the cessation of breathing just the same as for the IV injection given in dogs and cats.