POTBELLIED PIGS JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE! This is excerpted from a brochure written by Helen Morrison, for Pigs As Pets, Inc. POTBELLIED PIGS JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE! This is excerpted from a brochure written by Helen Morrison for Pigs as Pets, Inc. Potbellied pigs are clean, intelligent, affectionate creatures. A 150-pound pig is not as big as one may imagine! A typical, full grown, potbellied pig can be anywhere from 100 to 250 pounds. Some pigs are afraid to step into the pool for the first time, so you may want to throw a few grapes or apple chunks into the pool to entice the pig. INDOOR LIVING Yes, pigs generally make good house pets! All pigs root. You would not want to prevent a human baby from learning to walk, so why prevent your pig from rooting! It does not mean you allow the pig to root your entire house. The pig will quickly learn to take toys off its shelf only, making a happy pig and happy people. Someone once wrote a 10-pound pig in the bed is cute, a 100-pound pig may not be! Potty Boxes In cold or rainy weather indoor pigs may not want to go outside to potty. If you are not home to closely supervise the pig, you can also confine the pig to a small area with its bed and potty box separated as much as possible. Even if you and your pig are never around other pigs, you should have your pig vaccinated every 12 months. If you pig is nervous, you can take your pig to the vet to have the tusks trimmed. FOOD Pigs like to eat! Pigs will do just about anything for food. Underfeeding a potbellied pig will not “Keep him small” and is simply cruel! Your pig needs a food formulated especially for potbellied pigs, with no more than 14% protein. Amount The proper amount of food for your pig depends upon a lot of different factors: the pig’s age, size, activity level and environment, for feeding guidelines go to www. Pigs with naturally plump faces overweight pigs may have extra fat deposits around their eyes making it difficult for them to see. These types of supplements help to add variety to your pig’s diet, but are not necessary to be fed everyday as long as you have the pig on a good quality potbellied pig food.
Guinea Pig Eye Infections and Problems
There are a plethora of diseases that can affect the eyes of guinea pigs but some are seen more often than others in the vet clinic. It is important to familiarize yourself with the potential eye infections and problems your guinea pig may develop so you can help keep them healthy and pain free. Sometimes eyes get scratched or irritated by hay, hair, or even after a struggle with another guinea pigThese scratches or irritations can cause an injury on a layer of your guinea pig’s eye known as a corneal ulcer. Your cavy may paw at the hurt eye, keep their injured eye closed, or even rub it on the ground. Corneal ulcers may be treated with special prescription eye ointments from your exotics vet. If the ulcer is really bad or hasn’t healed after the use of some medications your vet may draw some of your guinea pig’s blood, centrifuge it, and use the serum that is produced as eye drops to help the ulcer heal. If your guinea pig’s eye gets irritated or exposed to excessive amounts of bacteria or fungal spores it can get infected. Your cavy may have hair loss around the infected eye, redness, discharge, swelling, and even keep this eye shut. Your exotics vet may choose to treat the eye without obtaining a culture first but if the infection does not resolve, or if you want to do the best thing possible for your guinea pig, a bacterial and/or fungal culture should be obtained. If your guinea pig has a lot of discharge from the eye and it is crusting shut you can use a warm, damp, cloth to gently clean it until you can see your vet. Sometimes just cleaning out the eye makes a world of difference to your guinea pig. Guinea pigs have incisors with roots that can grow into the nasal-lacrimal duct and cause their eyes to weep. An easy test to see if there is a blocked nasal-lacrimal duct is to use fluorescein eye stain and wait to see if it leaks out of your guinea pig’s nose. Sometimes tumors will develop behind the eyes of guinea pigs. Many other problems can arise with your pet guinea pig’s eyes but regardless of the issue, if you think something is wrong with your little friend make an appointment with your exotics vet as soon as possible.
‘GM could make pig organs for humans’
A gene-editing method could one day make pig organs suitable for use in people, scientists say. Prof George Church and colleagues used a technique called Crispr to alter the DNA of pig cells to create a better match for humans. The early work, in the journal Science, aims to address concerns about rejection and infection by viruses embedded in pig DNA. If successful, it could be an answer to the shortage of human donor organs. Years more research is needed before genetically modified pigs could be bred to grow organs for people. Crispr is a relatively new scientific tool that lets scientists snip and play around with the code of life – DNA. Prof Church, from Harvard University, used it to inactivate a retrovirus present in the pig cell line. This porcine endogenous retrovirus is potentially risky because it can infect human cells – at least in the lab. In tests on early pig embryos, Prof Church was able to eliminate all 62 copies of porcine endogenous retroviruses from the pig cells using Crispr. Next, he checked if the modified pig cells would still easily pass the retrovirus on to human cells. They did not, although there was still a small amount of transmission. Prof Church says the discovery holds great promise for using animal organs in people – what doctors call xenotransplantation. “Prof Church, who part-owns a company that wants to develop modified pigs to grow organs, said:”It was kind of cool from two stand points. “One is it set a record for Crispr or for any genetic modification of an animal, and it took away what was considered the most perplexing problem to be solved in the xenotransplantation field.” “With immune tolerance, that completely changes the landscape as well.” “These two things, immune tolerance and now getting rid of all the retroviruses, means we have a clear path.” “Dr Sarah Chan, an expert from the University of Edinburgh, said:”Even once the scientific and safety issues have been addressed, we should be mindful of the possible cultural concerns and societal impacts associated with more widespread use of pig organs for human transplantation.