The eight needle teeth (four deciduous lateral incisors and four deciduous canines) of newborn PBPs should be trimmed to prevent injury to littermates and laceration of the sow’s underline. Four permanent canine teeth erupt at ~5–7 mo of age and are first trimmed at or after 1 yr of age. Elongated permanent canine teeth may cause discomfort, malocclusion, and persistent chewing motion and salivation. In PBPs, the canine teeth grow continually and should be cut about once a year using obstetrical wire, mechanical saws, or other instruments. Sedation or anesthesia is required. Teeth should be cut as close as possible to the gum line without cutting the oral mucosa or lips; there should be no exposed root canal after cutting the canine teeth of any type of swine. Tetanus antitoxin (500–1,500 U, depending on PBP size) and antibacterials are usually administered. In PBPs properly vaccinated with tetanus toxoid, a tetanus antitoxin injection is unnecessary. Tartar buildup can be removed manually by instrument scraping at the same time the canine teeth are cut. Dental cleaners for small animals may be used with care, positioning the head of the PBP downward during use to prevent water aspiration.
Geriatric PBPs may have abscessed and/or exposed tooth roots; sedation (tiletamine-zolazepam 2.2 mg/kg, IM, in ham) and examination of the oral cavity with or without endoscopy is indicated if anorexia and/or bruxism are reported. Radiographs may be necessary to diagnose tooth root abscessation. Swelling followed by a draining tract at the angle of the mandible, especially in geriatric PBPs, indicates canine tooth abscessation. Removal is challenging even for skilled surgeons and may result in mandibular fractures. However, PBPs seem to recover well after tooth extraction followed by antibiotics and tetanus prophylaxis.
A registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit
Our goal is to provide a safe haven for abandoned or unwanted pot belly pigs and provide them with the medical attention they need, as well as the love and attention they deserve.
We will participate in fundraising to provide veterinary treatment, spay/neuter, food and shelter; as well as foster responsible pot belly pig ownership through education and adoption.