Helping a Constipated Pig Recover Before It Gets Serious

Help a constipated pig recover before it gets serious

Severe Constipation is Serious for Pigs

Severe constipation in pigs can be a serious condition, especially if your pig has not had a bowel movement in over 72 hours. If this is the case, you will need to call the vet.

Constipation is more common in sows and is related to milk and colostrum production. Pigs with constipation may drink more water than usual, display a humped back, nervousness, and moan or grunt during bowel movements. Prolonged constipation can decrease it’s appetite. Signs of a belly ache, lying down with a reluctance to stand up can also signal constipation. 

Symptoms of constipation in pigs are:

  • Increased water intake 
  • Humped back
  • Passes hard fecal balls
  • Straining and moaning while defecating
  • Lack of appetite 

Steps to Take if Your Pig is Severely Constipated: 

If you suspect your pig has constipation, there are several things you can do to help. Provide your pig with adequate water and change it more frequently so it’s clean and cool. you can offer fruit juice, particularly cranberry, prune or apply juice. Soften its feed with warm water so your pig eats more moisture when eating.

Feed your pig high-fiber foods, including pumpkins, prunes, and blackberries, to help with constipation. Other steps can help such as a warm bath (if you dare bring it inside and it’s small enough), enemas and suppositories, and animal lard (may be illegal for slaughter pigs). 

  1. Plenty of cool water
  2. Mix cranberry, prune, or apple juice with water
  3. Soften your pig’s food with warm water.
  4. Increase your pig’s fiber intake.
    • Pumpkin can be fed to pigs for up to 2 weeks and regularly
    • High-fiber cereals and laxatives (decreasing over 2 weeks)
    • High-fiber fruits: Prunes, blackberries
  5. One teaspoon of lard (or any animal fat) can be given once or twice daily (check your state regulation as this may be illegal in pigs bred for slaughter).
  6. Use enemas or suppositories to help your pig have a bowel movement.
  7. If the constipation is not severe, a warm bath will help ease their constipation.

Talitha van Niekerk

Hi, I’m Talitha van Niekerk, and I made the leap to farm animal ownership when I decided to fulfil my lifelong passion to own horses. Now, over a decade later, I run a public stable facility on 180 acres of land, caring for over 75 horses of all breeds and sizes. I love to write about my experiences, sharing the knowledge I have gained and helping others achieve their life’s passion to live on the land. See my about page here.

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