Respiratory Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Respiratory Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Respiratory Issues in Skinny Pigs!

Today we are looking at the common respiratory issues your skinny pig can experience and how to deal with them if they arise.

Common Respiratory Issues


Arguably the big bad wolf of respiratory conditions, pneumonia is a frequent concern for skinny pigs especially in damp or humid environments. It's an infection that inflames the air sacs in the lungs, which can fill with fluid or pus. Symptoms to watch for include difficulty breathing, lethargy, and a reduced appetite.

Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)

URIs are the colds of the skinny pig world but can become serious if not treated promptly. Sneezing, a runny nose, and wheezing are tell-tale signs. Unlike the common cold in humans, a URI in skinny pigs needs veterinary attention.


Yes, just like us, skinny pigs can have allergies. These can cause respiratory symptoms like sneezing and wheezing. Allergens can be anything from bedding materials to pollen. Fleece liners are the best bedding options because they are anti-allergy and reusable

Environmental Irritants

Beyond allergies to specific substances, general environmental irritants can cause respiratory issues in skinny pigs. These can include cigarette smoke, perfumes, or volatile organic compounds from household cleaning products. Exposure to these irritants can lead to chronic respiratory discomfort or diseases. It is best to always choose pet-safe, organic options.

Stress-Induced Issues

Stress can weaken the immune system, making skinny pigs more susceptible to respiratory infections. High-stress environments can lead to an increased risk of developing respiratory problems. Remember to give your skinny pig a daily Vitamin C treat to boost immunity.

The Culprits Behind the Conditions

Several factors can contribute to these respiratory issues:

Temperature fluctuations: Skinny pigs are sensitive to changes in temperature due to their lack of fur. Both drafts and overheating can lead to health problems.

Poor ventilation: A cage that doesn't allow for proper airflow can harbor ammonia from urine, which irritates the respiratory tract.

Dusty bedding: Bedding that produces a lot of dust can provoke respiratory problems and allergies.

Bacterial and viral infections: Some pathogens specifically target the respiratory system.

Prevention Tactics

With careful attention and some proactive steps, you can create a healthy living environment for your skinny pig and significantly reduce the risk of respiratory issues.

  • Ensure that your skinny pigs living area has stable humidity and a consistent temperature - a controlled environment is your first step
  • Ensure the cage is well-ventilated but not in the path of direct drafts. 
  • Regularly cleaning the cage to remove urine and feces also prevents the buildup of harmful ammonia. Always choose pet-safe cleaning products
  • Opt for dust-free bedding to minimize irritants. There are several types available that are safe for skinny pigs, such as fleece liners or paper-based bedding.
  • Routine visits to the vet can catch and address any emerging health issues before they become serious problems.

Respiratory issues can get serious fast, but if you implement these measures you are well on your way to keeping your skinny pigs respiratory system in tip-top shape!

Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!


April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H


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