Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

4 Things Potbellied Pig Owners Need To Know About Mange

Gisele Pereira

Mange is a skin disease that affects mammals, including your pet potbellied pig. Mange can cause health problems for your potbellied pig, so it needs to be treated right away. Here are four things potbellied pig owners need to know about mange.

What are the signs of mange in potbellied pigs?

If your potbellied pig develops mange, they'll itch or scratch their skin. This itching may be intense, and they may rub their skin against rough surfaces. For example, if your let your pig play outside, they may rub their skin against a gnarled tree, the exterior bricks of your home or other similar surfaces. This itching may lead to skin sores. You may see your pig trying to lick these sores, though they may not be able to reach them with their tongue.

How do potbellied pigs get mange?

Mange is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, a type of mite that burrows into mammals' skin. The mites lay eggs within the hair follicles, and when they hatch, they lay eggs in new hair follicles, and the cycle continues. Direct skin-to-skin contact between infected and non-infected mammals allows the mites to spread to new hosts.

Many mammals carry these mange mites, so it's easy for your pig to get mange. If you have a dog or cat, your pig could get the mites while playing with them. People can also carry these mites (though when people are affected, the skin disease is called scabies, not mange). Wild animals—including deer—can carry these mites and may infect pigs that are allowed to play outdoors. Farm animals like sheep and goats can also carry mites and can pose a threat to outdoor pigs.

How serious is mange?

Mange is very uncomfortable for your pig due to the itching. Scratching hard enough to break the skin provides an easy entry for bacteria, and your pig may develop an infection. Infections can be fatal if they're left untreated.

How is mange treated?

Treatment for mange is very simple. Your vet will give your pig an injection of endectocide, a drug that kills ectoparasites like mites. A single injection doesn't always kill the mites, so your pig may need to receive a second injection to be cured. Endectocides can also be given in pour-on or spray-on formulations if the injections aren't enough. Your vet will also clean the skin sores, and if necessary, prescribe an antibiotic. If you have other pets, like dogs or cats, it's a good idea to take them to the vet as well in case they are also affected by mange.

If you think your potbellied pig has mange, seek treatment for them immediately. If you have a dog that needs treated, visit Canine Center.