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Poorly Elderly kunekune

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:06 am
by ElizabethBaker
Sybil, who is 13 years and never been ill before was not well 10 days ago. She didn't come out of the ark for breakfast, she was very cold. I called the vet. Sybil was out of the ark when the vet arrived and she was trying to vomit. He gave her long-acting pain killer and antibiotic and she was normal within 24 hours. Sadly she was ill again last Friday, I called the vet, he said her temperature was low, he explained the difficulties in diagnosing pig ailments. Again she was given pain killer and antibiotic and was back to normal by the end of the day. The vet said that the only option would be to put her to sleep if she became ill again, due to her age and that there could be an under-lying problem such as a tumour. She is currently fine, eating well etc and I can't get my head around having her put to sleep if she falls ill again. Also her companion, Basil, is 13 years, nearly blind and quite lame (but happy!); I think he would be so lonely if I lose Sybil and it would be kindest to put him to sleep also. Should I take the vet's advice?
Liz (Dorset)

Re: Poorly Elderly kunekune

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:42 pm
by wendy scu
i do find that pigs go through periods of sickness like we do and if it weren't for her age you probably would not consider putting her to sleep. if she is eating fine and looking herself in between bouts of sickness i would be inclined to keep trying. If there is a tumour then she will surely get progressively worse and the decision will become easier.
next time she is like it, try leaving her without the antibiotics and just keep her warm and make sure she has plenty to drink. if it gets worse and not better then treat her.

sadly the inevitable day will come when sybil or basil has to manage without the other but you may be surprised at how easily they will carry on alone.

i am no vet and the above is only what i would do in your position
best of luck

Re: Poorly Elderly kunekune

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:45 pm
by ElizabethBaker
Thank you Wendy, your advice is much appreciated. I'm keeping fingers and everything crossed for Sybil. She and Bazil have been so healthy over the years and I haven't gained much experience with the sick pig. I'm sure my vets have done their best but I was surprised at how little they could offer - just antibiotics and pain-killer and hope for the best....
I really wouldn't like to lose dear old Bazil too but thought pigs were not very happy on their own.
Thanks, Liz

Re: Poorly Elderly kunekune

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:14 pm
by claire86
Hi Elizabeth,

Firstly, I am sorry, and slightly annoyed, that all your vets would offer was pain relief and antibiotics. Were any further diagnostics offered to you? Yes, sometimes it works and yes tests and treatment can be limited in pigs and obviously I don't know what the vet found on the clinical examination, but personally I think they could do more. Bloods/faecal/urine samples can give a great deal of information, though you would have to know what you were looking for to make it worthwhile (which should be decided on a clinical exam). I don't want to give you false hope, but it would be nice to know you've done everything you can before you have to put her to sleep.


Re: Poorly Elderly kunekune

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:16 pm
by ElizabethBaker
Hello Claire
Thank you for your response and advice. Sybil has remained OK so far. With the benefit of more thinking time and your advice and Wendy's I'm really hoping I wouldn't need to follow the vet's recommended route; meanwhile anxiously keeping a watchful eye on her.