Sleeping Pills For Pigs

FERAL pigs could have met their match with a new “sleeping pill” heading their way. The toxin, Hog-Gone, is being hailed as a breakthrough in defeating the pest in a humane way, essentially putting the wild animal “to sleep”. “There is no evidence of struggling or pain at all,” Animal Control Technologies’ Linton Staples said. “There’s no collateral damage to other species, and no impacts to the environment … we’re quite excited about this being a major breakthrough. The toxin has been seven years in the making, with Prof Staples now finalising an application to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for the toxin’s use in Australia.

Currently there are few methods for controlling feral pigs whose numbers in Australia can reach 25 million, depending on the season beyond trapping and shooting, or using 1080 poison. But Prof Staples said that given the pigs’ size, 1080 was not ideal because large amounts were needed for it to work. Hog-Gone, in contrast, uses sodium nitrite, a food preservative that wild pigs can’t tolerate, and generally avoid. Researchers have found a way to hide the sodium nitrite in a palatable bait which, once eaten, stops oxygen circulating in the bloodstream, similar to carbon monoxide poisoning. “The pigs don’t know anything about it


The indications for anaesthesia in the pig are limited but include caesarean section, vasectomy and ovum transplants, operations that are carried out by a veterinarian. Most other surgical procedures can be carried out by the use of tranquillisers and local anaesthetics. Anaesthesia is carried out by intravenous injection, inhalation, spinal anaesthesia or local infiltration of tissues. The first three are only used by a veterinarian but local anaesthesia is frequently necessary to suture small skin wounds or replace rectal prolapses. Sedatives are frequently used by non veterinary pig people.

Features of Sleeping Pills For Pigs

Pigs are notoriously challenging patients. They are difficult to handle so the use of predictable and safe sedation techniques is required for husbandry and surgical procedures. Various combinations of sedative and analgesic drugs have been previously investigated in this species, though the combination of midazolam and detomidine with either butorphanol or morphine has not been reported for sedation in pigs. The use of these combinations was investigated in the context of adequate sedation to allow castration of boars with the aid of local anaesthetic infiltration. The combination of midazolam, detomidine with butorphanol provided a more reliable sedation combination than that including morphine. It is proposed that this combination of drugs would be useful for sedation during painful husbandry procedures in pigs.

Medicines used for general anaesthesia

  • Halothane – Inhalation POM
  • Pentobarbitone – Intravenous injection POM
  • Tanopestone – Intravenous injection POM

POM = Prescription Only Medicine for veterinary use only.

A sow may also be killed for an emergency hysterectomy by shooting and bleeding by cutting the jugular veins, or destroying the spinal cord using a pithing rod. Only after pithing or bleeding is complete anaesthesia achieved to allow removal of the piglets. Details of this procedure are given in chapter 15.

Medicines used for local anaesthesia

  • Procaine
  • Lignocaine
  • Amethocaine

Some Trade Names (all injections)

  • Corneocaine POM
  • Dunlop local PML
  • Lignovet PML
  • Lignocaine adrenalin POM
  • Lignocaine A POM
  • Lignol PML
  • Nopain plus PML

Prices of Sleeping Pills For Pigs

$19.99  – $25.95 

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