Teeth clipping

Ref Code: PIG22


Teaching - 2
Research - 4


To remove the sharp tips of the canine teeth of newborn piglets, reducing the likelihood of damage and infection to the sows' teats and to littermates.

Alternatives to animal use for teaching

Procedure may be demonstrated on stillborn piglets.

Details of procedure

The procedure should be carried out on pigs less than 7 days of age.

Restrain the piglet aloft by gripping it around the head or neck. Firm, gentle pressure at the angle of jaw will ensure that the mouth stays open.

Instruments used for teeth clipping should be disinfected between piglets. A small pair of electrical sidecutters is suitable.

The flat side of the sidecutters should be positioned to cut each canine tooth (four in total), 1-2 mm above the gum line. Care should be taken to avoid gum damage and shattering of the tooth, leaving remnants of the ragged edge.

Drugs, chemicals, or biological agents


Impact of procedure on the wellbeing of animal(s)

The procedure is well tolerated.

Reuse and repeated use

Each piglet to be handled once only.

Care of animal(s) during/after procedure

Gentle, firm restraint during procedure. Observation over following 24 hours.

Pain relief measures


Qualifications, experience or training necessary to perform this procedure


Should be familiar with the correct techniques before attempting this procedure.

Procedure should be clearly demonstrated before students attempt it.