So the last few days you’ve noticed piggy hasn’t been acting quite right. He may be acting a little under the weather, or not as active as he normally is or maybe you notice him straining and hunching when trying to have a bowel movement. Guess what, piggy is constipated. What, you didn’t think piggy could get constipated! Rule of thumb if it eats and poops it can get constipated.
I know this will sound kind of weird but the first thing you should do is always pay attention to the amount of poop your piggy does when doing his business. Now is the time you would turn your head and yell at your significant other “ Hey Louise, these crazy pig breeders want us to look at little Louie when he’s pooping”. “ Those people are crazy!” You may be correct but you can prevent a lot of different things in life if you simply pay attention including any type of constipation or diarrhea issues before it gets serious. Any change in fecal consistency will also warn you if a new food or treat doesn’t agree with piggy. I know that sounds a little strange but the poops or constipation is usually the first warning sign of something is up. Diarrhea can be a FATAL warning sign for piglets if not caught in time; so diarrhea is what I look for every single time I am in a pig pen. So please understand poop is serious crap. (hahahhahaha)
Now your piggy’s case of constipation maybe as simple as piggy not drinking enough water, treats out of the ordinary (shame on you), or piggy hasn’t been running around as much. So this would be an easy fix a little more water, no weird treats and a little more exercise.
1. The number 1 cause of constipation is not enough water consumption. This even applies for humans as well. If a piggy doesn’t get enough water to flush the ol’ sewer pipes then things won’t flow as they should.
2. Did you introduce piggy to a different brand of pig food? Introduced any new treats? Maybe there isn’t as much fiber in their new food as there was in Mazuri. Please consider going back to Mazuri, it has all the nutrients and fiber your piggy needs to stay healthy and regular. Also every few month re-evaluate piggy for growth. Did he get bigger since you last upped his food intake of Mazuri? I always tell everyone to follow the directions on the bag of Mazuri but they sometimes fail to up the food intake as piggy grows and gets a little bigger.
3. Are you feeding piggy a variety of salad vegetables and to a lesser extent some fruit?
4. Is piggy getting enough exercise?
Sometimes the causes of constipation can be a little more complex in nature. That is why it is so important to always keep your eyes out on what piggy is doing. Make sure piggy doesn’t eat or swallow any foreign objects. Pigs root the ground instinctively, always searching for food or anything similar. If you dropped an open Taco bell packet of sauce on the ground and your piggy happens to be a little piggy in the eating department then you can bet that packet is gone. Not saying all pigs are like this but some will eat anything. Most of the time a pig will pick up an object with its mouth and once they figure out that it is not food they will either drop it or just continue to play with it without eating it.
So any object that is not food is a potential danger for possibly obstructing your piggy’s intestines.
Another cause of constipation is surgery, being put to sleep will make the pooping department slow down for a few days. Also pain medication has the same effect.
Stressing your adorable piggy can cause constipation. Say it is vacation time and your sister will be watching piggy for a few days. Just that change in people, surroundings and being away from his normal human family can cause piggy to stop eating and/or drinking coupled with the fact that he is under stress will cause constipation. Make sure piggy knows all the people that will be taking care of him while you are away so as to keep his stress level down while you are away.
How to treat constipation
1. Please stick to a species specific diet. I mean it is a miniature pig not an elephant, dog, cat, monkey, gorilla or a subspecies of a Bigfoot. What I am saying is that don’t feed a pig any other type of food other than a miniature pig chow. Think Mazuri, we prefer the Elder Formula versus the Adult Maintenance. Both have the same amount of calories but the Elder formula seems to control growth a little better.
2. Make sure piggy gets a little exercise and plenty of fresh water to drink. Please never withhold water.
Then there is my secret weapon. PUMPKIN in a can. We always have a couple of cans in our pantry just in case of two things;
1. I am in the mood for pumpkin pie or
2. A piggy is constipated.
We will give piggy a tablespoon or more depending on its size, 2-3 times a day with plenty of water. This usually resolves any constipation issues. There are more extreme measures but I keep that for the tough jobs.
Never, ever, give your piggy a laxative meant for humans.
AND MOST IMPORTANT, I AM NOT A VETERIARIAN. CHECK WITH YOUR VET BEFORE GIVING PIGGY ANYTHING OTHER THAN FOOD. ALL MEDICATIONS MUST BE OK’D BY YOUR VET.
Why? Because constipation could be only one of several signs or symptoms of a more serious disease.