I haven't blogged in a long time but I wanted to share the story of a few animals here who suffered differently from arthritis and how i am or was treating them. .
First if you have pigs no matter what breed or size over feeding one who is already compromised is only adding more weight to a painful situation and taking years from their lives. Pigs are not meant to be so fat that can't see , hear or walk. No animal is.
Rose pictured in the wallow came in as a 9 week old with a smashed hip. Nothing could be done for her as her leg swung free but she used it too keep her balance. As an adult you will see her rest that leg on the hoof of the other. In order to keep Rose's other three legs strong i started her on human grade Recovery. She has been on them since she was 6 months old and is currently taking 10 a day. She is also on medicam along with other joint supplements such as additional glucosomine.
If you have a pig who was born with challenging issues such as a club foot , missing a limb, hoof or claw keep them fit. If a pig has come in with poor condition , cracked or over grown hooves you will need to address these issues with proper trims and care . There is no reason to not know if your pig is under fed or over weight today as comparisons can be found in pictures or videos of pigs in Sanctuary's such as ours whose pigs are well cared for all over the world. Pigs with a hump on their necks , single large fat deposit waddles under there necks, are going deaf , are going blind , thick fat layers coming down off there head and low rear hanging bellies are too fat. The form of a pot belly pig is why they are called what the are . don't mistake the profile of a pot bellied pig with being fat but look at the other symptoms I have mentioned here and compare. (See my post " Is My Pig Too Fat")
Farmed pigs were bred to die as babies , no one cared about condition unless she was a producer or he was a stud. Its all about meat not long life so legs will be probably the first reason your loved big pig will go down. Protect your big pigs in senior years with strong doses of glucsomine supplements .
If your pig is already fat and limping or not wanting to get up for any reason from pain DON'T OVER FEED THEM, it is abuse by you as the care taker.
Dior , a 23 year old quarter horse started to have seizures and it took her a while to get her self up after as her legs didn't seem to be connected to her will. There would be no forcing her to get up with whips and straps as it wasn't that she didn't want to get up , she simply couldn't engage after going down. After the first three events i kept her wintered in her paddock and our Vet treated her. One of the meds we used was Arthryloid (Canadian) for arthritis . Available in the USA is Adequan , something we can't get here. The later is more expensive if you can get both. When doing a little research some recommended one and some the other. Both can be used on pigs and is considered a wonder drug for pigs with arthritis. It is only by injection so if you have pigs or horses you absolutely must get comfortable administering shots. I was heart broken when i lost her two years later but she was not euthanized, she crossed over on her own here. I also had her on Previocox, a med developed for dogs with arthritis. This med can also be given to pigs. You just need to find which one works best for your patient.
Gloria began to have problems from back pain and i started her on Meloxicam, One can see how she hunches instinctively when she moves as she is trying to remove pain by raising her limbs up. Gloria suffers from other issues as well but she is treated with monthly injections of Arthyloid (2.5 cc) after a series of them every week . Meloxicam was replaced with 50 mgs of a Tramadol twice a day. As you can see, she is a little pig by comparison and with that comes a malady of medical issues. Keeping her warm in the winter months is crucial and with soft ground to walk on as that removes the impact on her little self from walking on hard surfaces. I have carpets going over the driveway to the grass for the special needs pigs in the areas we have made for them here and in the sheds with cement foundations we have both rubber mats and carpet.
It is way easier for a senior hooved animal to get up on a soft surface with some give over a hard flat one. We lay carpet on the floors of our senior pigs sheds to give their hooves something to dig into. One of the huge regrets of moving here was that the horses barn was not like the dirt floor one we had prior. If i were to rebuild for horses , it would be on a dirt floor.
Scout a 15 year old pot bellied pig, started to limp in the winter. I assumed it was arthritis. I began a low dose of medicam daily until one day he couldn't get up. We bundled him on a blanket and moved him into a closer shed where i could see his hoof/foot was swollen and he held it up in pain showing me. I started him on Amoxicillin as clearly it was infection but i didn't use my horse sense here with his hoof care so off to the vet we went. Our vet did an ex-ray and we talked about removing the offending claw but started him on Nuflor injections for hoof rot every other day for 15 injections. He was kept on his Medicam and we added Tramadol for pain. Like horses, his hoof has a chip and a foreign object got up in there like a piece of sand and it got infected. It was also our wettest time of the year although our pigs are kept in large sheds with tons of straw bedding which should of been enough to dry out wet hooves after feeding outside. Our pigs are kept on gravel and bark mulch to keep them out of mud so i think i covered prevention the best way i could yet this still happened. I am also going to pick up some Biotin at the horse feed store next time as this will speed and strengthen hoof growth.
So to round this up i have mentioned Arthyroid, Adequan, Medicam or Meloxicm, Previcox, Tramadol and quality high doses of glucosomine supplments. I also have Rimidil on the shelf in case something stops helping and i have it to try something else.
I wrote this because sometimes euthanasia can be averted if one knew what other choices there are now.
I know my grammar sucks so before you criticize this blog please send me your edited version so i can fix it .
EDITED TO ADD- This afternoon one of our pigs taking meloxicam was out in the sun for a short time and was found panting and in trouble. Thing is , this happened to antother one of our pigs a few weeks ago also on meloxicam. this can't be a coincidence and i will be doing some further research -both pigs came out of it after being cooled down with water , starting from the tummy up. .
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This is great for all pig lovers, print one off for yourself and send one to a shelter near you so they have this information on hand in case a pig might need it.