How To Worm A Pig (or Not)

One day I noticed the pig laying around a lot, and not being as active as usual. At first, I thought it was just relaxing, being silly. But then I began to worry that it might not be feeling well. After a closer look, I noticed that her eyes were a little runny, which is a sign of worms in goats so I figured it probably meant the same for pigs.

I called my husband and told him to swing by Tractor Supply and pick up some pig wormer. I asked him to get the injectable kind, because the oral medicine needs to be given after withholding food and water for 24-hrs, and I was afraid she didn’t have that long. I just didn’t want to wait and have her die. So, he brought home some Swine Ivomec and some 18 gauge needles.

We weren’t sure how to go about doing the injection. After a little reading, we decided that the shot needed to go into the softer skin between the pig’s ear and the shoulder blade. Now, when giving an injection, you are supposed to pinch the skin up, and give the shot just beneath the skin- not into the vein. But when we tried to pinch her skin up, it was so tight, we couldn’t get any within our grasp!

And getting her to sit still long enough to even attempt this was a real trick! My husband snuck up behind her several times, and stuck her with the needle, but as soon as she felt the sharp little prick, she’d jerk her head, squeal, and run away. Pretty soon she caught on to what he was doing, and wouldn’t let Jerry get within 10 ft of her.

The poor pig.

Jerry decided we’d try to corner her in her pen, and he’d jump on her to hold her down. Yeah. Good luck with that! I tried to warn against it, but he was dead sure it would work.

It didn’t.

That pig is entirely too fast!! She ran laps around him as he lunged at the moving target. I stood by cracking up, being of no help whatsoever. My husband finally gave up, exhausted and sweaty.

I let her rest until the next day before we tried again. I didn’t want to scare her too much. When my husband had left for the day, I decided that it was my turn to give it a try. I’ve never given an animal a shot before, so I was not looking forward to this. Nevertheless, I knew it had to be done.

I tried sneaking up behind her a couple of times, and sticking her with the needle. But she never would stay still long enough for me to push the injection in. I realized I’d have to change strategies if I wanted to get the job done.

I decided to fill a bucket with food as a distraction. As soon as she found it, she dug right in; her head entirely in the bucket. With her vision blinded and her attention off of me, I once again snuck up behind her. Quickly, I stuck the needle into her flesh, and squeezed the medicine into her.

YES!!! Victory!

And then life was good again.

If I can give you any advice… DON’T opt for the injectable wormer!! Totally not a good idea.

Do you have any advice on how to worm a pig? I’d love to know your tricks!

2 thoughts on “How To Worm A Pig (or Not)”

  1. I had the same experience with our cow! I get the pour on type now – maybe they have that for pigs too? It’s kind of like Frontline for dogs and cats – you just pour some on their necks.


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