All mini pigs grow tusks as they mature. These ivory canine teeth are rooted into the jaw bone and cannot be removed without very expensive, invasive, and risky surgery. Tusks usually erupt after the first birthday and sometimes closer to three years old. Piglets cannot have tusks removed as they haven’t grown in yet. If you are told your piglet’s tusks have been removed, its most likely the needle teeth or milk teeth that they are born with that have been clipped or more painfully pulled out.
Females will develop tusks as well, but they typically do not grow beyond the lip line. If the pig opens her mouth, the tusks will simply look like longer teeth.
Male tusks will grow throughout the pig’s life. These may need trimmed periodically. Intact boars grow the fastest, neutered barrows grow slower but still may need routine trimming, and females have limited growth.The rate of growth is individual to each pig, and the needs for trimming depend on each pig. Most owners have tusks trimmed yearly or every 2-3 years.
Reasons to trim your pig’s tusks:
If they pose a risk to the safety of family, other pigs, or other pets. If a new pig will be introduced, all long tusks should be trimmed before the meeting.
If there is risk of the tusks breaking by getting caught in fencing, furniture, or otherwise.
If the pig’s tusks grow at an angle that causes it to poke through the lip or curl up to grow back into the face.
If the tusks interfere with normal dental alignment, chewing, and eating.
How to trim your pig’s tusks:
Tusk trimming is best done at your veterinarian’s office. They may use sedation to relax your pig, or they may restrain him. It depends on the veterinarian, so it’s best to ask when you are scheduling the appointment. Keep in mind pigs tend to have a very difficult time with injectible sedatives & may struggle uncomfortably while they are waking up. If using sedation, the recovery could take longer than expected.
Tusk trimming can be done at home if you have experience. It’s advised to observe this simple procedure with a veterinarian before attempting to do it yourself.
A veterinary gigly wire saw is used to slice the tusk at gum level. If the angle of the cut is not done properly, it can cause the tusk to grow back wrong causing pain for the pig.
This wire gets hot during the cutting, be careful & give the pig a break between cuts! The wires should be replaced after a couple of tusk trims.
If the pig is awake and restrained for the procedure, use ear protection as their screams are deafening.
Done properly, tusk trimming causes no pain and provides great benefit & comfort to the pig.
Gigli saw wire used to trim Sasquatch’s tusks.
Sasquatch and Blue waiting for tusk trim.
Sasquatch’s tusks after trimming.
3 year old spayed female tusks
Neutered male tusks