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Find out about

Salt Poisoning

in Pet Pigs

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Salt poisoning in Pigs is mistakenly thought to be caused by the feeding
of salty foods to a pig or other animal. That in fact is not the
case. Sodium Ion Toxicosis is actually more commonly caused by
lack of water than by excess of dietary salt. Pigs especially
need water to drink at all times. Even if you have to water them
several times a day or set up an automatic watering system, there
should always be fresh water for your pigs to drink.

You can feed your healthy pet pig salty foods as a treat every
now and again with no problem, but is not recommended to feed
your pig gross amounts of salty foods. One common cause of salt
poisoning in pigs is the result of a pig getting into the chicken
or turkey feed. Chicken and turkey feeds are often very high in
sodium, and if your pig eats too much of the feed it may get salt
poisoning from it.

The real danger to your pigs from salt poisoning comes from not
having enough fresh water to drink at the same time. What happens
then is that when they do get fresh water they may drink too much
water and the fluid will travel to the brain and cause swelling.
This results in seizures, strange rowing motions with their
hooves, coma and death.

If you know that your pig has eaten a lot of salty foods or you
see such symptoms begin you must call your veterinarian
immediately! If your veterinarian is not available immediately
you should then slowly begin to re-hydrate the pig with one
fourth of a cup of fresh water about every twenty minutes. Never
give too much water at once.

And wait for your veterinarian to get back to you. Your
veterinarian may prescribe slow administration of Hypertonic
Dextrose or Isotonic Saline solutions. Time is very important to
the success of this treatment.

Note that this treatment is for extreme cases of salt poisoning
from water deprivation due to neglect or serious accident, not
for the careless owner who waters the pigs in the morning then
comes back after work to find that the water was spilled. If this
does occur then giving a quarter cup of water every twenty
minutes until your pig is satisfied will fix the problem.


Despite what people might think, pigs drink more water in the
winter than in the summer. So it is vital to keep water
available, especially in the winter. Note that snow is not water,
and is not an adequate supply of water by the Humane Society's
standards for dogs or other animals.

Sometimes it is hard to keep water around in a pig's pen in high
summer. Getting a sturdy pool that can't be kicked over will help
the situation. Or put the water in a container sunk into the
ground so that the pigs can't crush or smash it up. Keep several
sources of water available for the pig and this will help to
ensure that your pig is getting enough water during the day.

You don't have to have heated bowls to keep the water from
freezing in the winter, you can use Styrofoam for insulation to
slow the process or use a small birdbath electric heater safely
attached to the watering pans. Be Vigilant! Check your pigs'
water supply often to make sure that there are no issues. Your
pig needs adequate fluid all the time. It is vital to their
health and prevents Water Deprivation Sodium Ion Toxicosis. The
older the pig is the more fluid it needs, but older pigs may not
drink as much as a young pig. But as a general rule, if you have
water available your pig will drink when it needs to, so be sure
that there is always water available.

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Tippy & Alfred want to be certain you always provide fresh drinking water
to your pets, no matter if they are pigs or otherwise. If pets outside
don't drink water that you have provided, they will drink anything including
anti freeze which will kill them.