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Sick Vietnamese Pig

 
Andrew Ray
Posts: 162
Location: Slovakia
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We keep vietnamese pigs here for meat. I have one male and two females right now. One of the females is smaller than the other two pigs, and has tended to have an infection of one eye that's come and gone, come and gone.
Last Friday my uncle-in-law brought two buckets of pickled vegetables and fruits that he was cleaning out from his cellar which I fed to the pigs (also the dog and some chickens got to the trough and ate some). Everyone else is fine, but the smaller pig on Saturday showed no interest in food or water and was acting a bit weak and less shy (these pigs normally won't let me touch them unless they are eating something, but I could easily grab her).
I thought at first that maybe this eye infection had gotten worse, and as I had to get going I gave her a shot of vitamin C (400mg), figuring it couldn't hurt. I had to go to the city that day, and arrived back at night to find that she'd found her way under the fence and was lying in some leaves and sticks outside, moving with some movements that I thought could be labor (I've never seen a pig in labor-- the other vietnamese pig we had two years ago that had a litter gave birth in the field while I wasn't around). I waited a few hours, and then checked on her again (believing she might be delivering and needed to be left in peace), but the situation for her didn't change so I brought her to a cage with a heat lamp and straw.
I tried putting water into her mouth but she had no interest in drinking. She did defecate a bit, with normal looking feces.
Since Saturday night she has been lying in the cage, with difficulty to use her hind legs. She is able to scoot around a bit backwards to get herself into different positions for lying, but that's about it. Yesterday (Sunday night) I gave her another vitamin C injection (this time 1000mg, subcutaneous) as I have some ampoules of Vitamin C on hand... We called also a vet on Sunday and he said to take her temperature. She has a temperature of 37.5°C which according to the Merck manual entry for pot-belly pigs is within the normal range 99-102°F, this is 99.5°F. The vet said that the temperature isn't right, that it should be higher and I measured wrong, but I'm pretty sure that I stuck the thermometer up her butt the right way-- its not rocket science-- and that the vet is thinking of temperatures for normal, large farm pigs. He wants to come measure her temperature, and then I guess prescribe her antibiotics or something. I really don't know that its worthwhile for us to pay the vet, given that she cost me 25€ last year as a piglet, she hasn't grown as much as the other, and I would prefer not to douse an animal that I would eventually be eating in antibiotics.

I suspect she got food poisoning, and perhaps I've just learned a lesson not to feed a large amount of somewhat dubious home-canned goods at once to the pigs. I just wonder what I can do to help her? Several years ago my dog got sick after eating a lot of ground meat, but I think that was constipation, and giving him enemas of senna leaf tea helped...
 
Andrew Ray
Posts: 162
Location: Slovakia
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Last night she defecated more and seemed to be gaining control of one rear leg.

Her symptoms seem consistent with botulism, and it seems there is nothing much I can do but wait for nerve endings that are bound by the botulism toxin to regenerate-- who knows how long that will take.

The vitamin C injections did clear up the chronic eye infection though.
 
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