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Idea Exchange: How we anesthetize pot-bellied pigs

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Jun 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

When anesthetizing a pot-bellied pig, we use a mask made from a plastic gallon jug. To make the mask, we clean the jug, cut the bottom off, and cover the edges with tape (white adhesive or duct tape works). We then tape a 90-degree anesthesia port into the top opening of the jug. When inducing anesthesia, a nonrebreathing hose is attached to the port, and we use the jug handle to hold the mask in place.

Pigs seem to prefer to travel backward when being handled, so when inducing anesthesia, we back the pig into a corner, keeping our portable, rolling anesthesia machine in tow. The pig usually goes under quickly, taking about 10 big breaths in the mask.

Dr. Eileen Bissmeyer
Mariposa, Calif.