Dead and Sickly Piglets

General discussions on health, disease, conditions etc
Post Reply
Natalie Yoga
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by Natalie Yoga » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi kunekune family, I hope you can help, offer support which I'm sure you will. I have two sows (sisters) both of whom have had their first litters within a day of each other on the 10th/11th July and everything went remarkably well. Peep had 8 beauties and Bo had 6. The 3 boys in the litter were duly castrated by the vet on day 3 and although a grim experience it went ok. One chap required a stich as he herniated, all recovered well and continued to thrive. The main problem has been the heat as I'm sure you are all well aware with the heatwave, we have kept both sows and piglets cool under shade and hose spray. They mixed well together outside and returned to their respective farrowing pens at night. We have been in a good routine till disaster struck and a thriving huge chunky happy ginger girl seemed to be panting on Friday 22nd July a little more than the others do after the usual scrapping and fighting the piglets seem to get up to amongst themselves .. By Saturday morning she was peacefully but devastatingly dead in her bed aged 14 days.
We spoke to the vet who said it must be one of those things and so long as the piglets were not snotty or had dihorrea we were lucky to have so many survive thus far. Then the ginger boy (who had the herniated castration) seems to have nose dived. He stands in the water bowl and drinks, produces runny poo and looks generally listless and miserable. He clearly has belly ache and finds it hard to settle or rest, fidgeting in a way as if he is in serious discomfort. This all became apparent last night and this morning the vet was summoned and duly arrived. He does not have a high temperature (38.4) and she has made a diagnosis of gut issues related to the hernia. There does not seem to be any obvious adhesions palpable from the outside or obvious signs of infection. He has been given pain killers and anti spasmodic to reduce the gut ache. I am rehydrating with electrolyte fluids little and often, he does best when allowed to stand in a bowl of it and slurp some up. He continues to appear unusually thirsty for water and does go to the sow to drink but is already noticeably smaller than his siblings and cousins. He was always like his ginger sister a robust and strong piglet. He is now weak and pretty feeble although still determined and noisy if fiddled with. Vet back tomorrow to vaccinate sows with ery/parvo and check on the little boar if he is still with us. ANY advice/suggestions/comparable experiences very much appreciated. I am so sorry to go on so long!!! Natalie.

Natalie Yoga
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by Natalie Yoga » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:35 pm

Just to update you on this post .. The little castrate is hanging in there. Just. Dihorrea progressed to vomiting yesterday and different vet gave him dexamethasone and antibiotics and diagnosed infection, is it coccidiosis??, and probably the same as killed the big ginger gilt piglet so suddenly last weekend. The injection flattened him and I gave hourly 10mls of rehydrate yesterday. Couldn't believe he had made it through the night without any nourishment for 24 hrs from Mum. Deciding he doesn't stand a chance without food I am giving 20 mls of Cow and Gate baby milk with a drop of rehydrate every couple of hours. I gave him the 2nd injection and once again he is a flat as a pancake and all looks pretty grim. He is now substantially smaller than his litter mates and cousins, I cant see him ever getting back on Mums teet.
Perhaps this is all par for the course .. I wait to hear your experiences and if this is the way it goes? Thanks for reading.

simon
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:45 am
Location: Yorkshire Dales
Contact:

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by simon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:41 pm

Sometimes for piglets its just not meant to be. They can be born with any number of conditions of the heart, liver etc - as can humans - that mean they don't always survive growing up in the brutal world of a litter which is designed to filter out the weak. It doesn't sound like you have any diseases or you would be having other problems. If this castrate has had an internal stitch split then theres little you can do over and above what you are already doing.
Don't be so hard on yourself, and don't let the vet charge you for things when theres little he will be able to do either.

A few things you can do....

If you are going to breed again, plan out now when you are going to wean, put to the boar and when you want the piglets to be born. Having so many piglets at once makes them hard to sell/eat in one go.

If they are pedigree make sure you birth notify them. Personally I would also ear tag them soon or separate the 2 litters. I'm sure at the moment you know which piglet goes with which sow, but in another month or two it will just be mass of hungry bodies. If you can't say for certain who the parent is then you can't pedigree register them.

Natalie Yoga
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by Natalie Yoga » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:59 pm

Very helpful Simon - thanks. I have a feeling you are right and he is not all the ticket. I did suggest to the vet yesterday that he was put to sleep but he seemed keen to treat and I really hate the thought of prolonging his (and my..) agony. I am not looking forward to the vets bill .. :roll:

I completely take your point about the mass of bodies. It is under control atm and I know exactly whose is whose but wont soon I dare say. How early can I ear tag ? Their ears are as big as the tags atm !! They will be 3 weeks on Sunday.

I need to read up on weaning and whilst not a health issue am I right giving the sows 3lbs plus 0.5lb/piglet of sow nuts by 3 weeks lactating even though they have access to plenty of grass? I've been gradually increasing the nuts but it just seems such a lot. I do appreciate they are sustaining the piglets so may well need it all.

Thanks.

Natalie Yoga
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by Natalie Yoga » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:04 pm

Ps Birth notification all done, they are pedigree and I will want them to have all the correct paperwork so identifying them will be imperative! :)

simon
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:45 am
Location: Yorkshire Dales
Contact:

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by simon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:16 pm

You can ear tag at any age. It does seem mean doing it at such a young age, but better that than not knowing who is who - and it is so easy to lose track if they are all of a similar colour.

The sow will need nuts, she can't eat enough grass in a day to maintain herself. Its hard to say if you are feeding too much. If the sow is putting on weight then you probably are.

Natalie Yoga
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Dead and Sickly Piglets

Post by Natalie Yoga » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:03 pm

Thanks for this. Planning to ear tag one of the litters tomorrow - completely get your point.

Only one of the sows is particularly greedy so will keep an eye on her but she does have 8 piglets so will give her the benefit of the doubt until the drain of feeding piglets abates !

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests