Pot-bellied pig to undergo surgery to save sight

Quakertown, Pa. (WTXF) A pot-bellied pig is about to go under the knife to save his sight.

Po Po the pot-bellied pig could not have been less interested in FOX 29's Bruce Gordon's visit to him at the Ross Mill Farm and Piggy Camp in Warwick, PA.

"All he can think about is rest right now," said Susan Madigson, who runs the pig rescue facility. "(He's got a) "big surgery ahead of him and he wants to get his beauty rest!"

He'll need it. Po Po arrived at Madigson's facility in October of 2014 tipping the scales at nearly 350 pounds.

She says his owner did what too many owners of pet pigs do: "They overfeed them."

A strict diet has cut Po Po's weight by more than half since then, but the former fat has left him functionally blind.

Rolls of flab and floppy skin hang over his eyes, literally covering his lids and blocking his view.

Madigson demonstrates by waiving her hand in front of the the pig. "Po Po! See, he can't see anything. Po Po?"

Enter the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic and veterinarian Dr. Arlen Wilbers. On Friday, he'll operate to remove the extra flab from around Po Po's face.

"First we'll lift the ears into proper position," he says "and then stretch the skin away from the eyes and that allows the pig to have his eyes and see. Kind of a pig facelift!"

The cost of Susan's foster care and Dr. Wilber's surgery doesn't come cheap. They're covered by sponsors- -animal lovers who want to help the critter who's become a social media favorite on Susan's Facebook page.

But why does Dr. Wilbers take the time and energy to perform these surgeries?

"I care!" he says. "I want the animal to have a better life."

Dr. Wilbers will have a sidekick in the operating room. A board certified plastic surgeon will be there, offering verbal assistance. No, it's not about making Po Po look cute for the female pigs who may waddle past.
No, this is simply a case of humans doing what they can to help our four-legged friends. No matter how they look.

"It means his quality of life is going to be increased," says Madigson. "Just like it would be for us."

When Po Po can once again open his eyes, he'll see what compassion looks like.