Can you remove metal ear tags?


Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:25 pm

A new pig came into rescue with one of those horrible metal ear tags clipped into his ear and I would prefer him to not have it.

He probably does not notice it but I do and I think it is awful and it makes me think of tagging cows for slaughter or something.

Therefore, if it can be safely removed, I would like to. What do you think?

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For Rocky

Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:37 pm

We had a pig who was found with one of those tags. The vet was able to remove it with wire cutters or needle nose pliers, or maybe both (I forget what exactly she used). It was definitely NOT a one person job, and I would leave it to the professionals.

I was worried about Graham getting a toe caught on it or fighting with someone else and getting it caught. He hated the removing process, but didn't seem phased with or without it. I still have the tag somewhere. If I recall correctly, he was pig #36 from somewhere. Graham was found running wild in a local park and we suspect he may have been a lab pig whom someone "liberated."

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Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:45 pm

What about gently handling the tag with your fingers to see if it's loose like an earing or if the tissue has grown around it. If it's loose, you could probably get it out with some rubbing alcohol, pliers, and wire cutters but if it feels very firm, I'd get him into the vet. He probably needs a checkup anyhow yes?


Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:54 pm

Was Graham an albino pig?

I was also under the impression that if it was to be entered in a show it had to be tagged. That would also beg the question why a show pig was running around a park wild, but that was my first thought was "show pig" for some reason. Hmmm, interesting.

Although my Bennett is an albino so I suppose lab pig is possible. You can't even see Bennett's number. The number part is the part that is actually penetrating his ear so it either rotated or they screwed it up!

Next trip into Andy's I will bring Bennett in and see if he can get the darn thing off. Poor little buddy...

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Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:03 pm

Oh dear, are you asking for a lashing?

Albino pig? My my. It's PEW, pink eyed white, unless you're really masochistic and enjoy being verbally lashed by GLers.

Tags are used for shows but I can see how research labs would use them as well. Tattoos are also utilized.

Depending on how recent the piercing was (it really is an ear piercing), you may want to keep it clean with a cotton swab and alcohol until he gets into the vet.


Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:04 pm

It does have some crustiness around it like you know, how their ears get that waxy, crusty buildup, like that stuck in it. It does not appear to be overgrown with tissue though so it should be easy for Andy, my vet, to fix it.

Bennett may not like the whole process but who really likes going to the vet anyway? Well, my dogs do but they get cookies at the vet.

They need to keep pig snacks at the vet! Ohhhh! I need to suggest that! I am there often enough I think I could pull that off even LOL Plus snacks like carrots are good for the overweight dogs who cannot have cookies! Oh! This is going to work out well and my piggies will be very pleased!

The things I can get excited about you know? Sad, really...


Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:05 pm

OH! PEW! I had no idea! Please forgive me! I did always wonder what that meant.

What is the difference?? Bennett is really my only PEW. All of my others have been pink-eyed but not necessarily white...

Most labs nowadays are actually switching to microchips for ease of use. Well, I should qualify that as the bigger labs I guess so most may not be accurate. Less mistakes are made and therefore it is more cost effective.

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Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:19 pm

There's no such thing as an albino guinea pig. They're called PEWs - pink eyed whites.

Albino individuals have health issues. PEWs are totally normal. It's a coloring.


Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:27 pm

Ohhhh. So is an albino a lethal? Or are those also different?

This is interesting. As I said, Bennett is my first so this is new to me, please excuse my flub.

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Post   » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:33 pm

There are no albino guinea pigs - that includes lethals.

Either way, albinos aren't blind - they just lack certain pigments; lethals are blind:

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Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:33 am

I struggled to remove a metal ear tag from Petunia with wire cutters. It was a mess. I finally figured out that I couldn't do it the obvious way. It was natural to want to cut it like a ribbon. Then, I cut it edge to edge, and it cut part way through, and then opened up and came off.

I hope that made sense.

You do need to be careful. Petunia twitched while I was trying to clamp down hard on this thing and she bled. I couldn't hold her head and ear still, while also using all my strength to squeeze the wire cutters. At least her ear didn't rip. That's when I tried cutting it the opposite of how you'd think and it didn't take so much effort.

Petunia was rescued from a little girl who showed pigs. Poor thing was considered a reject when she developed a tiny cowlick. Think of how many pigs are bred and rejected in order to get it just right. Makes me sick.

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Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:28 am

Oh Zoe !! Poor Petunia. I just can't believe some people. They really don't see guinea pigs as living beings, but more like possessions, like a lamp or something.


Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:57 am

Hmmm, no albinos. I had no idea. It was just an assumption on my part of course with the PEW. I have been firmly re-educated!

Sus if there are no albinos then how can they not be blind? ;) I am giving YOU a hard time now. LOL

Well Bennett is a super sized PEW and is healthy and is no longer a lamp since he is here and loved and will soon be tagless!

He is so beautiful and I think Friday when I take my dogs in I think he will come too and see what I can do about getting it off. I can't not look at it when I look at him and most people would never even see it I don't think.

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Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:31 am

I said there were no albino guinea pigs and then you asked if lethals were albinos. Last time I checked, lethals were guinea pigs (of which there are no albinos).

And again, like I wrote above, albinos are not blind.

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Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:33 am

Albinos are NOT blind.

Lethals ARE blind.

Therefor, lethals are not albinos. Especially since there are no albino cavies. Remember those annoying math questions like this?

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Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:47 am

Symbolic logic! I loved that class.

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Supporter 2004-2020

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:54 am

Me too! The principles are very useful in RL.

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Pooka and Pixie

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:56 pm

"There's no such thing as an albino guinea pig."

Why not? There are albino alligators and squirrels and frogs and deer and bears. Why can't there be an albino guinea pig?

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Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:51 pm

That's the question I've never seen a satisifactory answer to. Maybe the gene mutuation just hasn't occured.

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Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:02 pm

I've been surfing around on the web, and haven't found anything conclusive. It seems that albinism in guinea pigs is closely related to the himalayan markings? But the breeding is such that it is very, very difficult to actually get a true non-pigmented guinea pig.

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