It is very important to spay or neuter you pig! Part of the long term health and happiness of your pig depends on getting them spayed or neutered. If you are unsure about whether you want to spay or neuter your pig, here are a few reasons we recommend getting your pig fixed.
The single largest reason to spay/neuter your pig is the concern for long term health of intact pigs. Female pigs can develop a condition called Pyometra which is an often fatal uterine infection common to intact female pigs. This is a very painful and horrible condition in which the uterus of your pig becomes full of bacteria and pus, which eventually bursts and kills the pig. If caught in time, a very expensive emergency surgery MIGHT save the life of your pig. This condition is 100% preventable with a spay.
Symptoms of Pyometra are low or no appetite, lethargy, weak hind legs, fever and/or swollen abdomen. If your intact or fixed pig displays any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
Intact pigs are also more susceptible to cancer, which is far more common in pigs than cats or dogs to begin with. Again, an ounce of preventer is worth a pound of cure. Always spay or neuter your pig.
If your pig is anything like mine, you might be thinking, how could my sweet angel possibly be much different when in heat?
Intact pigs become VERY aggressive and territorial due to surging hormones during heat. Both males and females will show aggression towards people and animals they previously got along fine with. A sexually frustrated pig will chase, bite, charge, attack, hump and intimidate people, animals and even household items in order to alleviate this frustration. Male pigs will also develop a strong odor that cannot be cleaned out of your house. Much like a skunk, it is a strong, pungent sharp and persistent odor. Males will also hump and ejaculate where and whenever they see fit. This increase in unpredictable activity will continue until they are fixed.
Additionally, intact pigs become very difficult to contain. They will go through fencing, enclosures and pens to attempt to alleviate their frustrations on other animals. They will continually assess their containment for weaknesses in order to escape. Female pigs will also start peeing everywhere regardless of being previously potty trained to attract males. Intact pigs show a much higher ability to be destructive than fixed pigs.
With this comes the very real risk of pregnancy. Pregnancy, especially in a female pig that is too young, is very risky. We’ve seen this time and again when an intact pig overpowers their fencing or pen and impregnates or becomes pregnant, or an intact pig is introduced to a pig that was thought to be fixed. Its not uncommon for rescue pigs to lose litters or die from pregnancy in young age, poor health or stress.
Lastly is the cost associated with fixing your pig. Unlike with dogs or cats, as your pig ages and increases in size, surgery becomes more and more expensive or eventually impossible. The older your pig is when they get fixed, the more likely they are to develop tumors, infections and other complications that will catastrophically increase the cost of surgery. The risk of complication or death also increases because of these factors. You might think you are saving some money now by not fixing your pig, but in the long run it is so much cheaper to get them fixed while they are young and save yourself and your pig the stress of leaving them intact.
As the one adopting and taking on the life long commitment of providing the best possible life for this animal, it is your responsibility to do everything your power to maintain the life and happiness of your pigs. Sometimes that means a lot of hard decisions, but fixing your pig isn’t one of them. Make the right decision and spay or neuter your pig before its too late.