Medical Problems To Look For When Carrying Out A Visual Health Check

Pigs Inn Heaven have a 7 year history of looking after and rescuing terrapins/turtles and pigs. If you are unsure of what to look out for when finding an abandoned terrapin/turtle or pig, below is a list of medical signs to identify.



  • If the skin which is exposed is red or quite pink this is a sign it could have an infection
  • Neck area if you see it red, raised and inflamed this is also a sign of infection
  • When you look into its mouth and you can see that the tongue swollen with pale coloured spots, this means it has mouth ulcers
  • If both eyes are swollen/bulging and closed, this shows that there is a deficiency of Vitamin A
  • If one eye or both suddenly go blood red this is a sign of an eye and body infection and in some cases can be fatal
  • If the shell and skin looks healthy but the shell starts to peel after basking under a heat lamp this is normal
  • If the shell and skin looks healthy but the shell starts to peel and is pick/red/soft and bleeding this is a sign of a shell infection

If you are unsure of any of the above telephone your vet immediately for an appointment.

How to identify a terrapin/turtle’s sex

  • If the tail and nails are long it is a boy
  • If the tail and nails are short it is a girl

Pig photo


  • Visual check of the skin to see if there are any cuts, grazes or underweight
  • Pigs are prone to cysts and can develop these from as young as 12 months old. The cysts can be in various sizes and will need to be looked at by a vet and in some cases cancerous tumours may appear.
  • Trotters too long. If a pig’s trotters are too long they will become sore and uncomfortable for the pig, trimming every 3 months is essential either by yourself or a vet.
  • In growing eyelashes. Pigs can get eyelashes that rub against the eye which can become sore and irritate the pig. Trimming regularly is essential.
  • Diamonds disease (Erysipelas) are small diamond shape lesions on the skin and if left untreated is fatal to the pig. Antibiotics from your vet given in the early stages is crucial. Please do further research.
  • Neurology conditions can also effect pigs such as heart attack and strokes.
  • Stress/injury to joints due to overfeeding
  • Sting/bites these can cause abscess
  • Foot rot (you will need to do further research either through your vet or the internet).
  • Ticks stuck in the skin, this can cause Lyme disease. Ticks pose a problem for outdoor pigs. They are easy to see on the pig due to the animal's lack of abundant fur. The pig's tough skin makes it difficult for ticks to penetrate but in the softer regions of the pig's hide the ticks have very little problem. Ticks tend to congregate in the ears, groin and neck region of pigs. They are uncomfortable for the pig and can cause anaemia and spread disease.