Pig Dental Care
Both females and males get tusks. Neutered and spayed pigs do get tusks. However, tusk growth is fueled by testosterone. Therefore an intact boar is going to have the FASTEST tusk growth, a neutered male and intact sow will be slower growth, and a spayed female will have the slowest tusk growth. Instead of removing the tusk teeth you may choose to have your vet file or trim them periodically. The frequency will depend on your individual pig, the rate your pig grows his tusks, and the risk to others. Some people never trim tusks. They prefer to leave the tusks natural. Families with other pets or small children may find tusks to present a danger, either by an aggressive act from the pig or by simply running too close to someone or rubbing against their leg– serious bodily damage can occur from these sharp teeth. Most people start trimming their pig’s tusks between 1.5 and 3 years of age. Most male pigs do not start to grow tusks until about 18 months or later. Some have yearly tusk trims, others follow their own schedule on an as needed basis. Some tusks can grow at a bad angle until they actually pierce the cheek of the pig. In this case, tusk trimming is not optional and must be maintained for the health and welfare of the pig.
Schedule a tusk trimming appointment with your veterinarian. Isoflourane gas is the safest anesthesia for pigs, but it is expensive and not feasible for traveling veterinarians. Other anesthesia, sedatives, or flipping the pig may be used.