The medical term for Dippity Pig Syndrome is Erythema Multiforme. Symptoms can include sensitivity to being touched around the back end, a “hunkered-down” stance with the tail tucked between the back legs and weakness in the back legs or inability to use them at all. Moist, red areas may appear over the rump region and halfway up the back.
The onset of symptoms is often quite sudden. A perfectly normal pig can be incapacitated three hours later. Skin eruptions or lesions can occur in a matter of minutes. Depending on the pain threshold of the pig and the severity of the case, the animal can be just uncomfortable to screaming with pain.
There is no treatment for Dippity, nor preventive medication. Creams or sprays can help to heal the sores and lesions; drugs can be used to alleviate discomfort or pain. But once Dippity starts, nothing will prevent it from running its course. Duration of symptoms can be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours; and complete recovery is just as spontaneous and mysterious as the onset of symptoms.
Spring and summer seem to be the most common times of year for Dippity to occur, and the primary cause seems to be stress.
Find out more (and see photos) on the California Potbellied Pig Association’s website.