If you’ve had a micro pig for some time or are doing your research before purchasing one, you’ve likely seen the phrase “dippity pig” before. Technically speaking, the name for this syndrome is Erythema Multiforme and it’s common in the spring for many miniature pigs.
But, what is it, what causes it, what are the symptoms, and can it be treated? We’ll answer these questions and more below!
So, What is Dippity Pig Syndrome?
Dippity pig syndrome is a superficial reddening of the skin. Typically, it occurs in patches throughout a miniature pig’s body, but it can and may look different from pet to pet. These patches tend to concentrate on the behind area of the pig and can extend halfway up the back as well. In severe cases, these patches will turn into lesions that ooze serum or even blood.
Common symptoms of the syndrome, aside from the physical patches, include:
- Severe sensitivity to touch, particularly around the bottom;
- A slumped (or “dipped”) stance, often with the tail in-between hind legs and against the body;
- Inability to use hind legs; and
- Generalised pain, distress, or overall restlessness.
Typically, these symptoms will occur suddenly, though not necessarily all at once. In fact, it often takes only a matter of hours for symptoms to worsen and for your miniature pig to be unable to walk, which can be frightening for many owners. Lesions can grow by the minute and as such, it’s important you take action immediately. But first…
What Causes Dippity Pig Syndrome?
Stress is the most common cause of dippity pig syndrome. Most often stress can result from a trip to the vet, severe weather, or even a change in routine. Sometimes, exposure to the sun can also cause dippity pig syndrome, though this isn’t the case for all miniature pigs.
The precise cause of dippity pig syndrome remains unknown to this day. As such, treatment can be tricky because you’re treating the symptoms of the medical condition rather than the condition itself.
How Can I Treat Dippity Pig Syndrome?
Dippity pig syndrome has no treatment at this time. However, you can take a number of steps to make your miniature pig more comfortable and to alleviate the symptoms:
- Address the Stressor – If you can make a guess as to why your pet is stressed, you should take steps to eliminate the source of the stress immediately. Comfort your pig and ensure he or she is able to rest and recuperate.
- Use Topical Creams or Sprays – Skin lesions can be painful and luckily, topical creams or sprays can help reduce their severity. Vitamin E or aloe vera can also help reduce the pain and discomfort of the lesions.
- Injectable Drugs – Injectable drugs can reduce pain and discomfort further.
Understanding Dippity Pig Syndrome Allows You to Spring Into Action When Necessary
Because dippity pig syndrome can occur at any time and will escalate quickly, understanding the symptoms and causes is important. Take note that the condition is much more common in pigs under two years of age and won’t happen at all or frequently with older pigs.
You can also consult with your veterinarian if the steps you take don’t alleviate the symptoms but with your care and solutions, you can ensure dippity pig syndrome is a minor blip in your teacup pig’s long-term health.