Photo Credit: @vinny_thepiggy
Depending on where and how you got your mini pig, you might be wondering if you should neuter or spay them. Many breeders will do this for you before you get your pig as a baby, but if your pig hasn’t been neutered or spayed then you are left with a decision that’s completely up to you. There are pros and cons to both decisions, so continue reading to find out what is best for you and your pig.
So should you spay or neuter your pet mini pig? Yes, Most of the time it is best to neuter or spay your pet mini pig because if you don’t, it will lead to many issues including health problems, abnormally high aggression, random ejaculation, urinating in your home, and humping everything that looks like a mate (including you and your children).
Even though there are many benefits to neutering or spaying your pig and the majority of mini pig owners do it, they’re some reasons to not neuter your pig as well, especially if your pig is older than 3 months old. In many older pigs, it might be very risky for them to get surgery, so before making any decisions, always talk to your veterinarian first. Visit this link if you want to know more about neutering mini pigs older than 3 months of age.
Benefits to spaying/neutering your mini pig
Pretty much in every pet mini pig, the benefits of getting them spayed or neutered will outmatch the risks involved in doing so. Below I explain many of the benefits of getting your mini pig spayed or neutered.
Spayed/neutered mini pigs are happier and easier to be around
Without the instinctual need to mate, your pig will be much more calm and willing to snuggle with you. Potbelly pigs are known for being very aggressive during mating periods (both males and females) and will constantly get in fights with you, your children, and your other pets.
It’s much easier to have guests with a spayed/neutered mini pig
Mini pigs who are not spayed or neutered will become very protective of their territory (especially females) and show aggression to unknown visitors. They may nudge, hump, charge, and bite people who they think are challenging their territory. It will also be hard to get them to stop because many times, they won’t even listen to you.
If Mini pigs are not showing aggression to your guests, another thing they might do is try to hump them (both male and female pigs will do this). Sometimes males will even ejaculate on your guests, which would be pretty awkward as you could imagine. Females will hump just to show dominance.
It’s much easier to train a mini pig who has been spayed/neutered
Mini pigs who are not spayed or neutered tend to act more like wild animals than those who have been. One of these wild tendencies is not listening to you and being more difficult to train (especially potty train). Many times, female pigs will pee randomly when encountered by a possible mate (possible mates could include your other pets, you, and your children) even if they are well potty trained.
Mini pig who are spayed/neutered will smell better
Especially non-neutered male mini pigs will have a musky odor that is very noticeable and you will probably have to use natural fragrances to keep your house from smelling.
Issues that happen in mini pigs who aren’t spayed/neutered
It’s much harder to keep a pig who hasn’t been spayed/neuterd as a pet. These pigs are much wilder and harder to keep in the home. Here are some more issues that happen with non-neutered/non-spayed pigs.
Mini pigs who aren’t spayed/neutered will start fights with you and your other pets
The aggression non-spayed or non-neutured pigs have, will make them act like jerks to your other pets. Mini pigs already tend to start fights with other animals due to their herding tendencies, so if you have other pets (especially a dog) neutering or spaying is pretty much a must. Large dogs can easily injure or even kill your mini pigs if they are left unsupervised. Check out this article to learn more about having a dog and mini pig together.
Mini pigs who aren’t spayed/neutered will loudly squeal and wander away
When mini pigs who are not spayed or neutered are in heat, they will constantly try and seek a mate by wandering away from your home. When you try to bring them back, they will squeal, annoying all of your neighbors.
There are many health risks with mini pigs who are not spayed/neutered
Mini pigs who are not spayed or neutered are prone to many health issues such as hernias, tumors, cancer, cryptorchidism, and more. If these health issues happen, not only can it severely hurt or kill your pig, it will also cost lots of money in veterinarian bills to save your pig. The uterine tumor in the pig below would have killed her if her parents didn’t pay $4000 to have it surgically removed.
Non-spayed female mini pigs have a estrus cycles
Estrus cycles are similar to menstrual cycles. Female pigs will have a slight watery discharge coming from their vulva during their cycles. Also, they tend to have many potty accidents even if they are trained well, so it is hard to keep them inside. When they’re outside, they will constantly try to find a mate and whine when you keep them from wandering away.
Risks of spaying/neutering your mini pig
Even though in most cases you should always get your pet mini pig spayed or neutered, there are some cases in which it might not be the best idea.
You never know how your pig will react to anesthesia
Make sure to have your veterinarian assess the risk of using anesthesia on your min pig before you do so. Mini pigs are known for having bad reactions and even dying from anesthesia especially from ketamine. The Michigan Veterinarian Medical Association says “This drug can be used safely in pig patients, but it can result in very rough recoveries and sometimes behavioral changes for several days” describing Ketamine.
It’s hard to find an experienced veterinarian
One of the big problems with owning a mini pig is that not all veterinarians will accept them, and many of the ones that do might not be very experienced because not many people own pigs. If you are having any trouble finding a veterinarian in your area that will help with your pig, check out this article here.
It can be very expensive
Many veterinarians will label your mini pig as an exotic pet, and they need to be handled by a special veterinarian. This will cost much more money than it should, but it may be your only option depending on where you live.
How much does it cost to spay/neuter your pig
The general price range to spay or neuter your mini pig is between $100 to $500. If your pig is old or fat it will cost more than if they are still a baby.
At what age should you spay/neuter your mini pig?
The best time to neuter your mini pig is between 1.5 to 3 months old. Once your pig has aged farther than 3 months, they are quite large and have a decent amount of fat. This fat makes surgery much more difficult to be done. Also, you want to make sure you neuter or spay your pig before they start their first heat cycle, which usually starts when your pig is only 3 to 5 months old.
Should you spay/neuter your pig even if they are old?
If you do have an older pig, it’s still possible to get them spayed or neutered just please talk to an experienced veterinarian so they can determine if it’s ok to do with your specific pig. Use this article here to find a veterinarian near you. Usually, it’s going to cost much more for older pigs to be spayed or neutered.
How should I take care of my mini pig after being neutered/spayed?
After your mini pig gets spayed or neutered, you will need to make sure they refrain from many activities such as running, aggressive rooting, jumping, and anything else that might tear open the incision for the next 1 to 2 weeks. During this time your pig may get very bored, so you are going to want to make sure you stay home to keep them entertained.
Some activities you can try that does not involve much exercise for your mini pig is scratching them with a pig scratcher, teaching them how to play the piano on a toddler piano, and giving them rubbery toys such as this one here. The links take you to these products on Amazon.
Also, you shouldn’t give your pig food or water for the first night after surgery. After the first night, you should feed them smaller amounts of food but at a more frequent rate than you did before. Making sure your pig digests their food correctly will help them from experiencing too much pain.
Sometimes lady pigs will have accidents after they are spayed/neutered
Sometimes the muscles need time to heal before lady pigs can pee properly again. Don’t be surprised if they have a couple of accidents but remember that it’s not their fault, so don’t scold them too hard.
Is there any reason to not spay/neuter your pig?
The main reasons to not get your mini pig spayed or neutered is if they are way too old, too fat, or have a tumor around their reproductive organs. These pigs are more likely to get infections by the surgery and will cost much more money to have the operation done.
Surgeries are always risky, and you never know how your pig will react to the anesthesia, but your veterinarian will assess your mini pig and perform tests to minimize any risks involved. The benefits of getting your pig neutered completely outweigh the risks.