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Treating a sick piggy recovering from heat stress and constipation  RSS feed

 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 51
Location: Bitterroot
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We have a large black hog that's probably around 125 pounds that has been lethargic for about four days now. The little guy is not interested in food but he accepted some water from the garden hose today.  We had the vet out and the hog has had a three day course of banamine and penicillin.  But again, as of today is eating little, is drinking little water and is showing signs of distress (somewhat labored breathing as if in pain.)  He has passed very dry and hard stools.  The vet ran blood work that apparently confirms the heat stress theory.

I have him isolated from the other hogs where he has shade, plenty of water and free choice food.  I've offered him fresh green grass, yogurt, pumpkin, etc,  We thought it best to keep him off his usual bagged dry feed until we signs of improvement.

We did have a smaller hog die just the week before from similar symptoms although it happened in a matter of hours not days.

We have had an unusual streak of days in the mid 90s.  The hogs (7 now) are on bagged organic feed.  They have a quarter acre fenced paddock with plenty of shade.  They have free access to an automatic waterer, large tubs of water that I change several times a day and also an artificial creek that they have wallowed out.  The otherwise healthy 6 hogs are thriving and showing no signs of illness or distress.

Our "hog" vet is out of town and the backup vet is making a best effort but I wanted to check with other hog growers on what we might try to help the little guy recover. 
 
thomas rubino
Posts: 828
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Try to get him to lay in the "creek"  or buy him a plastic kiddy pool "It won't last long " but try to get him laying in it.  My pigs love eating bagged ice, try some on him.  Also offer him his regular dry food, as well, as as much comfrey as you can get your hands on, they love  it.  Apples or other sweet fruit, as well ...   Sometimes animals/people  just don't make it, no matter how much we try.  Keep him cool & calm , as much water as you can get him to drink, try feeding him anything he will take. Hope for the best, maybe your regular piggy vet will return in the nick of time !    Good Luck   
 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 51
Location: Bitterroot
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Piggy is still hanging in there.  Looking somewhat better.  I have been able to get him to drink more from the garden hose and he has taken a small but increasing amounts of food (yogurt, pumpkin, fruit and oil.)  He seems to understand that I'm trying to help him. 

Wishing this heat wave would break. 
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2738
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
224
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Do your hogs have a large enough wallow?
Hogs need a fair amount of wallow that is in the shade to stay healthy.
The wallow cools their bodies down and prevents fly bites, mosquito bites, etc.

Our hogs spend a large part of the day moving from shade to the wallows in the heat of the day and then they move back to dry ground shade.
If they get too cooled, they take in a sun bath then inevitably they move from the sun to the wallow.

We have 4 large water troughs that we fill twice a day that are positioned in deep shade, two large wallows, each in the shade at different times of the day.

We have not had any issues with heat stress or any other types of stress in the 2 1/2 years we have been raising hogs.

Redhawk
 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 51
Location: Bitterroot
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This is our third year raising hogs on this property.  They're now on a piece of ground that was hog paddock two years ago.  They have wallows in the shade from an "artificial" creek caused by the neighbors poorly maintained irrigation.  The neighbor's loss, piggy's gain.  Also I replenish wallows daily that are unshaded.  I have several large bowls, actually shallow horse troughs, that are dumped and refilled daily.  Then finally I have a "sow bowl" automatic waterer (shaded) that's plumbed to the well.

This has been our hottest, longest hottest year since we've been growing hogs. 

I gotta move the hog paddock to a different piece of ground next year.  I'm thinking a piece of ground east of a tree belt that provides nice morning sun but a lot of shade mid to late afternoon.  I'll loose the artificial creek but they'll have nice protection from the afternoon sun and I can still do all of the other water access.

Slightly different tangent:  Piggy has been struggling now for 7 days.  He's eating some, drinking some.  But still has somewhat labored breathing.  He gets up and walks a bit. Eats some then plops down exhausted.  How long do we wait this out to see if he gets better? 
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6693
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I'll bet the pigs would appreciate a nice deep ditch. Something that would get them deep into shade and closer to the deep soil that doesn't change temperature much throughout the year.

We had a really hot day up at my place a few years ago when my Labrador Retriever was with me. We had used the excavator in an attempt to dig a shallow well. There was very little water, but it was absolutely frigid. Later, I went looking for Peggy, and there she was laying in three inches of water and clay, looking very much like a pig in it's wallow. She had been drinking heavily earlier and panting in the heat. Panting is hard work. Until the heat wave ended, she chose that wallow over a much cleaner and warmer stream. Relief came not just from the cold muck. The air in that deep hole must have been 20 degrees cooler than the sauna I was breathing on the surface.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2738
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
224
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Ed, If piggy is still struggling you might be dealing with Pneumonia, Your farm supply store should have an injectable for that, it is not extra expensive.
One of our sows caught it about 2 years ago and while I can't remember the name of the antibiotic I know it is a common one carried by farm supply stores and it works.
I gave our girl a total of three shots over a three day period and it cleared her up, I didn't go the full regimen that the bottle said to use and she has not had any recurrence.
It was the one and only time any of our hogs has gotten anything other than herbs, you do what needs to be done for the welfare of your animals.


Our temps normally average 100 degrees July through August, so I deal with the heat and high humidity every year.
This week is highly unusual for Arkansas with temps down in the 80's and we are seeing some rain, it is rather scary that the weather has changed this much over the last 10 years.


Redhawk
 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 51
Location: Bitterroot
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Redhawk,

We started with a three day regiment of banamine and penicillin.  If this is Pneumonia should the penicillin have cleared it up?
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2738
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
224
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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I would have thought so, but with the way bugs mutate these days it could be a resistant strain.
I'll get the bottle and give you the name of what I used that worked quick, I might be able to post it here tomorrow or late tonight from my phone.

Are his eyes watering or is it just labored breathing?
When Eve got sick she was about 150 lbs. I gave her 30cc injections in the shoulder IM injection.

Redhawk
 
Ed Sitko
Posts: 51
Location: Bitterroot
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Just labored breathing.  No watery eyes, no cough, no teeth grinding -- all things the vet said to watch for.  When she took his temp it was in the normal range.

Piggy did eat twice as much as the day before.  Still a very small amount.  He did drink what seemed like gallons from the garden hose.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2738
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
224
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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That is good news, sounds like she is recovering.

I tried to post from my phone but couldn't get signed in this weekend but here is the medicine we used; Duramycin.

Redhawk
 
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