restraining pigs for shots

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by royB, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. royB

    royB Active Member

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    Hello, basically new to pigs. We got our first 2 gilts about 2 weeks ago. One has very loud breathing and the vet suggested worming and antibiotic (both in shot form) so now we have to give them a shot. They are about 50 lbs now, and my first thought was to grab one, put her on her side and hold her down (I helped a guy castrate 2 a LONG time ago and he had me hold them this way). Then I read that crowding them into a corner might work.

    It will just be my wife and I so any suggestion would be helpful.

    Roy
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    At 50 pounds it can still be relatively easy. I shoot mine by myself by giving them a huge bucket of something delicious. If they don't trust you, maybe holding them down will be best. Good luck :)
     

  3. Mulefoot

    Mulefoot Active Member

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    Hi Roy,

    What type of shots are these? Intramuscular (into the muscle) or subcutaneous (under the skin)?

    If they are intramuscular, you can crowd them into a corner and give the shot in the neck muscle. But be quick because they will react very quickly to a needle in the neck.

    If they are subcutaneous, grab them by a rear leg, lift them up and give the injection into the fold of skin that runs from in front of the rear leg up to the belly. They don't mind the shot as much there, they just don't like the indignity of being upside down. Holding them by both legs is preferable if your wife is willing to give the shot.

    Good luck with it.
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Roy,
    Do you propose breeding from these gilts or are they for the freezer. The reason for asking is that if you are looking at owning them long term, you don't want to make an issue of worming them the first time because you won't get the opportunity the second time. Pigs are not stupid.

    Worming is usually done by subcutaneous injection in the anterior part of the neck i.e. just behind the ear. Get your vet to advise you on the correct gauge and length of needle for a pig that age. As Tango has suggested, wait until feeding time when they will be more interested in their stomachs rather than what your doing, and don't do it at a time when you wouldn't normally be handling them - they will be awake to the fact that something isn't right. Take a pinch of skin, insert the needle, let the skin go and inject. It sounds daunting and for the first couple of times it is but I do all my pigs this way including mature boars. If it can be done without any great fuss they won't even be aware of what's happened.

    If you don't feel confident and they are for the freezer this should be the only injection they require and in that case you can hold them while your wife gives the injection. I say that because 50lb of wiggling pig can take some holding :haha: and I get Kevin to do that bit while I do the dirty deed.

    By the way, do both pigs but they should have come to you already wormed. Next time you buy in weaners ask that they be wormed first. I worm all mine before I sell them on the premise that I want to sell a good product, have people get what they have paid for and come back to me for more.

    Good luck, and enjoy your pigs.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. Mulefoot wrote:
    Holding them by both legs is preferable if ...

    Last time I held a hog down there were legs everywhere.
    I counted at least 4 of them, maybe more, I don't know.
     
  6. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    Well, I get them occupied now that they are bigger - food - and get them in the behind with a needle that you can use your palm pressure to puch in. When they were 50 lbs Ron held them up by the back legs and I gave them the shot. The first time I picked up a pig by the hind legs the front kept running right through a trough of water. I got my first pig shower - picture the paddle wheels on the old time boats! :haha: This is why I just jab them quick. Do watch the length of the needle and gauge. They will not be any worse for the wear if these are the right size.
     
  7. royB

    royB Active Member

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    Thanks all for your input.

    The plan for these 2 is freezer. But they are also practice for getting some for breeding. They came from a guy that raises them and feeds them out and I was told they were wormed and vacinated but the vet thinks the breathing noise is related to lung worms. They are not accoustomed to us enough to let us near them so it looks like it is going to be a treat trying to catch them. Actually giving the shot won't be a problem since I give our cattle their shots, it's just getting close enough to do it.

    I have not picked up the shots yet but the vet said IM for both. I always ask for specific instructions for each when I pick things up since I won't have the original container to refer to.

    Roy
     
  8. Mulefoot

    Mulefoot Active Member

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    LOL

    I guess I should have said, "both rear legs"

    I do know what you mean, sometimes I think they must have more than four.....
     
  9. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Give the pigs some food, when they bend over to eat it feel along their neck for the muscle that runs up over their shoulder.

    Hold the needle with your thumb on the plunger and the point out of the base of your palm. You should be able to stab and squirt before the pig even knows what hit him.

    Pete