Potbellied pigs are relatively clean animals, but you can expect your pet pig to occasionally need a little help with her hygiene. It is normal for a potbellied pig to develop a bit of brown, waxy gunk in her ears. Don't assume your pig's ears are dirty if you notice a little bit of goo near the inside of the ear. The fact is, you do not have to clean your pig's ears to keep her healthy -- but if you choose to clean them, you need to go about the task in a careful manner.
Moisten a washcloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or plain water, depending on your preference. Make sure the washcloth or cotton ball is damp but not soaked or dripping when squeezed.
Have your helper hold your pig in a relaxed manner that will allow him to control the pig's head while you are cleaning. Feed the pig treats periodically to keep her relaxed.
Use your washcloth or cotton ball to gently wipe away brownish gunk that has accumulated around your pig's ears. Clean only the outside edge of the ear. Do not attempt to clean the sensitive inner ear area; you can damage it during cleaning if you use too much force.
- Accustom your potbellied pig to being handled, including handling and rubbing the areas around her eyes and ears. You cannot clean what you cannot touch, and adult pigs tend to be difficult to physically restrain. You will have a much easier time cleaning the ears of a pig who likes to be touched than one who fears or avoids human contact.
- Take your pig to the veterinarian if you believe she needs a deep ear cleaning or has an infection or problem with her ears. Your veterinarian has the training necessary to clean the inside of your pig's ears.
- Pigs can, and will, squeal and bite when they are being subjected to a procedure they do not approve of. Be prepared for your pig to protest when you clean her ears for the first time.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.