Desperate HELP needed - new pig owner and sick pig

General discussions on health, disease, conditions etc
Post Reply
BurrWood
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:57 pm
Location: Ottery St. Mary, Devon

Desperate HELP needed - new pig owner and sick pig

Post by BurrWood » Sat May 21, 2011 9:24 pm

Hello everyone
I am really, really desperate for some advice.
We gave Piglocks, a 12month old Kune Castrated Boar a home from the RSPCA about 2 months ago, and he has been the most bouncy, wonderfully affectionate chap.
Suddenly, 4 days ago, when my husband went to let him out of his stable, and Piglocks just refused to get up, and refused his food, so my husband left the stable door open to tempt him to come out. When I came home from the school run I went out to see how bad he was, and I found him collapsed in his paddock. I tried to get him up for an half an hour, and he was just lying on his side, so I called the emergency vet straight away. It took them a few hours to come as they were on another emergency, and 3 hours later, with me sitting with him for those hours, monitoring him, he seemed to steadily get worse. He was exceptionally lethargic, in fact, I kept expecting to just see him stop breathing. His breathing wasn't laboured, he wasn't foaming or drooling at the mouth, I couldn't see any lesions on him. Then suddenly, when I popped back to the house to open the front gates for the vet, and came back, I found he had got up and was back in his stable munching a little bit (but not much) on his breakfast veg. By the time the vet came he was lying back down again, in the same state as before. He had a raised temperature of 104 degrees. The vet gave him an antibiotic and painkiller, but could not put his finger on what was wrong. His first thought was Erysipelas, but he was not showing all the symptoms for it? The next day I called the vet back again as Piglocks was now completely off his food, and still lying down, not getting up. His temperature was back down, and when the vet got him up, he wasd unsteady on his legs. He thought he may be constipated, so gave him buscopan. Other than that he was still flumoxed. Later that day, I managed to get Piglocks up, and get him to walk outside, where he had a wee and poo, laid back down outside for an hour, and then at some point went back into his stable. A different vet came the next day, who was equally stumped, and gave another antibiotic, and painkiller/anti inflammatory, as when we managed to get Piglocks up this time, he was most definately walking in an almost arthritic way. He did a wee and poo again, so seems to be working ok on that front. Still no diagnosis though, and that was yesterday. Today, he laid down on his side all day. I have been feeding him water every couple of hours to try and stop him getting dehydrated. This afternoon we managed to get him up, and he went out for a wee, but immediately laid down afterwards. He looked almost lame, and very stiff. Tonight I sat and managed to tempt him with bananas, pears and strawberries, as he hadn't eaten for 2 days.
I am at an absolute loss what to do, or what this is, made even worse by no clear diagnosis from the vet. We may have only had him 2 months, but we love him so much, and he is just like one of the dogs to us. It is absolutely breaking our hearts.
Does anyone on hear have any ideas, or any experiences like this? I don't know if I should be doing anything else for him?
I have a horrid feeling it is Erysipelas, but just showing some of the symptoms and not all. He was not vaccinated against it before leaving the RSPCA, so it is a possibilty. If it is, is it definately fatal, or is there a chance he could pull through. Please help.
From a very distraught Claire and Family

redgeorge
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:01 am
Location: shropshire
Contact:

Post by redgeorge » Sat May 21, 2011 11:14 pm

The following link on Erysipelas is useful: http://www.thepigsite.com/pighealth/art ... erysipelas
Erysipelas is not fatal if it is treated soon enough and effectively.

It sounds however as though your pig is not suffering from gastro intestinal problems as he is eating and going to the toilet. My first thoughts are:

worms - has he been treated for worms?

joint pain - you seem to have a gut feeling that it might be to do with his limbs, have a good check over his legs, run your hands over them see if he winces with pain at all, any swellings ?

I hope that he is ok

wendy scu
Posts: 1076
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Herefordshire
Contact:

Post by wendy scu » Sun May 22, 2011 10:09 pm

i would wonder if it is a septic arthritis? if it is he would need anti inflammatories and a heavy dose of strong antibiotic - Draxin? this is only a guess of course but then it seems that the vets only guess too - we all have that problem Claire. i do hope you see some improvement in him. keep us informed,
Wendy

BurrWood
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:57 pm
Location: Ottery St. Mary, Devon

Post by BurrWood » Tue May 24, 2011 12:37 pm

Thank you so much both.
Piglocks is still very unwell, but a good deal better than he was last week.
The vet is still unsure what is wrong. We now suspect arthritis, possibly as a disease in it's own right, or as a result of Erysipelas in his former home, resulting in complications arising now from that. We have put him on to Bute (unsure of spelling) to reduce any pain and inflammation. Will see how he goes with that, and then try taking him off to see if he goes downhill again.
He is just beginning to eat slightly - bananas and strawberries are the only thing we can tempt him with, and today he got up when he saw me - the first time in a week. I am really hoping he will continue to improve. I don't know what his long term prospects are if he is an arthritic piggie though? I hope that is not the case, and that the RSPCA did not knowingly pass on a pig with problems - but having only had him 2 months, this seems terribly soon for him to fall ill.

wendy scu
Posts: 1076
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Herefordshire
Contact:

Post by wendy scu » Tue May 24, 2011 1:01 pm

i think i'm right in saying if it is aseptic arthritis it may well come right as that is an infection in the joints rather than long term damage - fingers crossed

claire86
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Post by claire86 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:22 pm

Sorry the reply's a bit late. Hope your pig is now doing much better!
In any case of sudden (acute) collapse, I would always consider toxin exposure. It would be worth a walk around your paddock to identify which plants he could have had access to and making sure there's nothing toxic that could have found its way in. Also check for things like old batteries, paint etc.

BurrWood
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:57 pm
Location: Ottery St. Mary, Devon

Post by BurrWood » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:15 pm

Hi All. No, it wasn't toxin exposure. Vet said he wasn't showing the right symptoms for that. So, he's fine now, but has lost a hell of a lot of weight, and has now lost 75% of his hair (see separate post). Is that normal? We saw 3 farm vets. None knew what it was. Possibly a virus of some kind? We'll never know?
It's a happy ending so far. Piglocks is back to his usual bouncy, but slightly balder self. He also has a new Kune arriving as a friend this week from the RSPCA - Harry, who was terribly neglected (and bald too!!!) Harry's original piggie friend was in such a bad way when the RSPCA got them, that he had to be put to sleep. So, hoping we will have a pair of happy piggie friends in the following weeks!!!

wendy scu
Posts: 1076
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Herefordshire
Contact:

Post by wendy scu » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:37 pm

glad it was a happy ending and worth keeping a note of the treatment used for future ref.

Post Reply