Pigs can be carriers and intermediate hosts for many parasites. It is very easy to treat and control worms and mange mites if proper worming is done biannually (twice a year) and not overlooked. Wormers will take care of both internal parasites AND most skin issues caused by external parasites on the skin of pet pigs.
Some of the parasites a pet pig can suffer from are large round worms, whip worms, nodular worms, tape worms, lung worms, liver worms and mange. Most parasites in cats and dogs are not transferable to pigs. A different variation of each parasite, uses different species as a hosts and therefore cannot use certain animals as a reservoir or breeding ground. It is very important to keep all housing clean and free of waste and debris. Excessive or unclean bedding is also of major concern. Wildlife can be intermediate hosts for some parasites as well.
We recommend deworming your pet pig with over the counter, Ivomec 1% solution for cattle (click the highlighted sentence to be directed to our product page where you can purchase this product). It is labeled for cattle but it does treat swine if you flip over the packaging. The box is black with an outline of a bull head and contains a glass bottle of injectable solution. You will need to also buy a syringe and a needle (18-22 gauge works just fine). This is just to draw up the liquid from the bottle. Once the wormer is drawn up in to the syringe, the needle can be removed and properly discarded. The dose for pigs is 1cc per 50 lbs (pounds) of body weight. You can also use the formula .2cc for every 10 pounds of body weight (this is easier to use for smaller pigs). It is difficult to overdose a pig on this wormer, so it is highly safe but also effective! We recommend giving it orally or over food. Even with the wormer dressed on the feed, the pig will still eat it. If dressing feed with it, we recommend using an extra .5cc because some of the wormer may be lost on the side of the dish or tipped over and out. You can also stick the syringe directly in to the pigs mouth and squirt it in. (make sure to stay close to the side of the mouth, so your pig doesn’t inhale it). NO PIG UNDER 8 WEEKS should ever be dewomed by these methods. The only thing that will work for small piglets is the dusting options.
There are many other forms of wormer that may be purchased and work for swine, however, we prefer Ivomec injectable solution/given orally (there is also Ivomec paste and granules). We don't recommend pour-ons for the smaller breeds of pigs as some can have adverse skin reactions. There are also Dectomax (injectable and pour on) and Heartland (added to the feed). For whip worms and tape worms there is a main ingredient that needs to be included in order to effectively treat these types of worms, Ivomec will not treat these types of parasites. You must get a wormer with fenbendazaole (typical brand name is SafeGuard). We recommend doing a fecal with your veterinarian every six months, to make sure that your pig needs to be treated with a more specific type of wormer, one that targets these more specific parasites. For treating with fenbendazole, the formula is .1cc for every 10 pounds of body weight, repeat that dose for three days in a row, then retreat in 14 days.
We always treat for parasites routinely, once in the spring and then again in the fall. If your pet is suffering from mange/mites there is a slight variation in treatment. Worm your pig like suggested above but then worm the pig again in 14 days (2 weeks). This is done because the first dose may miss the mites in the larval/egg stage. This should effectively eliminate any skin issues caused by mites in your pig.
Written by Jodi Register (2015)
References: Charles M. Hendrix, DVM, PhD, Diagnostic Parasitology, Mosby, INC. 2006.
Parasites in Swine. Purdue University, Kurt Strueh: https://www.extension.purdue.edu/pork/health/kurtstrueh.html