Giving Medication


Most medication comes in four forms: tab­lets, powders, liquids, injections.

Tablets

It is somewhat easy to administer tablets to young micro pigs. Place them as far back in the mouth as you can, and rub the throat until the micro pig swallows the tablets. To keep from getting bitten by larger micro pigs, administer tablets with the help of a balling gun or animal piller. These instruments hold the tablet in one end. When pushed, a plunger expels the tablet. Insert the tablet into the device, place it as far into the mouth as possible, and push the plunger. The tablet is delivered to the back of the throat.  If   the instrument is plastic, keep it away from the micro pig’s molars so that it is not crushed. Small tablets may also be administered in special treats, such as bananas, apples,  and sweet potatoes.

Liquids

Liquid medications may be added to the feed or water if they are not unpleasant tast­ing. Add them to a very small amount of food to be sure the micro pig consumes all the medication. A small dose may be injected into a piece of fruit, such as a grape. Then give the balance of the ration. If the medication is not pleasant tasting, you may have to resort to administer­ing it with a syringe. The size of your micro pig’s mouth and the amount of medication you need to administer will dictate the size of the sy­ringe. Add an extension tube to the syringe so that you can reach the back of the mouth. This will assure bypassing most of the taste buds and keeping most of the medication in the micro pig’s mouth.

Powders

Medications in this form should be added to food or treats. If the one you are admin­istering is pleasant tasting, you will not have to try to disguise the taste. If it is bitter, roll it up in a slice of cheese, forming a ball. Give the micro pig a few pieces of cheese without the med­ication first, then give it one with the medi­cation.

Injections

Injections are used for immunizations and administration of medications, electrolytes, vi­tamins, and minerals. They are usually given by your veterinarian according to the manu­facturer’s directions. There are several ways to administer injections. The rate of absorp­tion of the medication is dictated by the method of administration. The average pet micro pig owner may never have to give an injection. If you have no expertise in giving injections, your veterinarian can give you instructions in certain cases. This section is included so you may understand the various methods of injec­tions. Be sure your veterinarian approves of your level of expertise before you practice this type of treatment.

The methods of injections used on micro pigs in order of absorption rate, fastest first are:

  1. Intravenous injections, made directly into the bloodstream.
  2. Intraperitoneal injections, administered into the abdominal cavity on the micro pig’s right side.
  3. Intramuscular injections, administered into the neck muscles behind the ear or in the thigh muscle.
  4. Subcutaneous injections, administered be­tween the skin and underlying tissues.
  5. Intranasal medications, administered into the micro pig’s nostrils, without a needle.

Be absolutely sure to use the correct method of administration and to do each injection properly. You should NEVER attempt to per­form an injection unless advised to do so by your veterinarian. You might hit a vital nerve, blood vessel, or organ and do more damage than good.

Some injectable medications come in two separate vials. One contains a liquid and the other a powdered or freeze-dried portion. To reconstitute this vaccine, the liquid is first drawn into a syringe and inserted into the dry portion. When it is fully mixed, it is drawn into the syringe and is ready for administration to the patient.