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Bedias, Texas
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever sucessfully casted a broken leg on a pig? Do tell....

The trailer rolled on the way home last night and we have to cast a leg. (Yes my vet thinks I'm insane. But we've casted calves legs before, so why not a pig?)

Thanks.
 

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It is entirely possible to cast a pigs leg, but the matter of how succesful it would be is another story. Depending on the pigs breed, size, and where the break is I need to establish a basis to tell you more on. If you can post this information or a picture I'll be happy to see if I can recomend anything.
 

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Bedias, Texas
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Discussion Starter #3
She is a small crossbred pig. I'd say 50 pounds or less. Looks like a pbp/ferel/spotted domestic (cant think of the breed right now...I'm sorry). She's carrying HEAVY right now and I refuse to not try to save her and her litter. TO be honest.....She's not walking on her back right leg, wont put it down, but is running on the other three and I'm waiting for backup (I'm sorry but I'm too exhasted to fight her alone right this min) so I'm not sure where the break is. I'm actully guessing its broken cause she wont put it down. I dont know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet it is. I would be more than happy to post pics if it would help. I've gotten the pig needles so I can give her a shot of antibiotic when we catch her, because I believe this would be a case to use it. I'm researching now WHERE to give the shot. Should I vac her while we've got a hold of her???

I've been told to cut pvc in half and wrap that around her leg. Never heard of casting like that. But it sounds like it'd work. Any thoughts???
 

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Joy: Okay, well being that she is pregnant and will not have too much of a need to be on it as she'll be happy to spend some down time. I have never heard of the PVC, that seems a bit silly to me though, that seems like a crude splint that is not fitted for a pig leg. Pics would help but knowing her status is good enough for now. The location of the break, if indeed it is a break is a bit difficult to say what methods will be best. It could be a foot break, a hock break, a stifle break, etc. Is it fairly swollen and very sensitive to the touch? I'm assuming if you're guessing it 'might' be broken that there is no deformity?
Your best bet is probably a soft cast. Straighten the leg out, but keep a slight bend in the joints so that if she bumps it it will have give, this applies if the break is the in the joint as well. Splinting it completely straight will lock the joint up for good. Next apply a heavy cotton gauze, castign gauze is great, they come in big rolls at the pharmacy, some dollar stores have them too. Wrap firmly in gauze, and make sure if there is a break it is on good enough to stabilize it. Then use vet wrap and firmly (not too tight) wrap the leg, securing the gauze, start at the top and work your way down. Completely cover any exposed gauze, the very top and very bottom are acceptable to have a bit of white showing. This is inexpensive and effective. This will do well if it a simple fracture, or a complete break, provided it is not a compound fracture or has more then one, or two breaks. If you feel she needs added stabilitzation you can make a splint. Thick wooden dowels, or heavy guage wire, like the made cattle guards out of and be bent to shape around the limb for added support. Make sure to tape any sharp ends. Soft casting will probably be sufficient in your case. You can also purchase casting material, your vet should sell it to you, that is a fiber glass resin you soak and apply. Do you soft casting with the gauze (no vet wrap) and apply your hard setting cast on top of that, make sure to smooth it out and make sure there are no air pockets or gaps in the seams.

Again soft casting it probably your best bet with her at this time. It may not neccesarily be broken and this casting will work well if it is or if it is not. It's economical as well. You sound like me, in terms of giving everything a chance and going to lengths for your animals. Bless you. I wish the best for you and momma pig. Please don't hesitate to post or PM me if you have any questions.

Also one last note, watch the antibiotics. If she does not have any open wounds, and the limb is not grotesquely swollen you will probably be alright to wait on antibiotics as she is pregnant and close to term. Antibiotics are more of a hinderance then a help. Just be careful, if you do, do minimum dose. I would wait to vaccinate until after piglets are on the ground, read the directions,and ask your vet first. Take care.
 

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Bedias, Texas
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much. There is no swelling. There is a clean cut on her "knee". She is holding it up and not lowering it at all. (Alot like I did when a little boy stabbed me in the knee. It hurt to all get out and I didnt want to move it at all!!!) I've never heard of soft casting. I had no idea that its a bad idea to straighten it. My friend Elizabeth knows more about pigs than anyone I know and she's of the opinion that pigs who have broken legs get terrable arthritus, even if they heal. Well heck....I want to at least give her the chance to have her piglets and raise them. If she acts like shes hurting after that then I'll cross that bridge then. I dont know if it's "tender" but she doesnt want anyone touching her. Wether or not its because it hurts, or she's not used to being held 3' above the ground, or that she's just had a REALLY bad week I cant tell. (PLEASE dont take that to be rude or "smart a.." I'm just thinking of it holisticly, you know the "whole picture") I know that I'm not all here today either. Most of the pigs are really just "vegging" today. They dug a nice nest, nestled down and are chilling out. They'll move if startled, but I think we're all just are taking it all in. I know that if she doesnt use it, she'll lose it. It'll freeze up and heal that way and never be of any use again.

I'm trying. We did have to put down one momma who had three broken legs. Her front two she couldnt stand on at all, and one back one that she just let hang behind her as she scooted. And one little weiner with a broken leg. Since he was an eater anyway it didnt really make any sence to make him go through the pain of healing only to be butchered later. That would be cruel.

Thank you again so much for your information. I'll be more than willing to take pics this afternoon. I'm waiting for my eyes to stop burning beforehand. grin.
 

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If her leg's not dangling (a clean break) you can just leave her alone and let her heal herself. Just going by her not putting weight on the leg doesn't specifically indicate a broken leg, just that it is injured. The fact that she's not using the leg is good, she won't make it worse and she'll get along fine on her other three legs for awhile until she heals. Better to injure the hind than a front anyday. It will take some time before she's no longer gimpy, but pigs are usually real weenies about pain, so that will work in her favor.
 

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Bedias, Texas
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Discussion Starter #7
I got her soft wrapped this evening. I completely forgot to takes pics. It was getting dark and I was overwhelmed by wrapping and giving a shot to the pig. Before yesterday I'd never held a pig before, and now I can not how many times I've grabbed em up and carried them around. My arms as just SORE. grin. Thank ya'll. I feel confident that she'll make it! grin.

Oh....I forgot. I checked and checked and checked and the only thing I could find is her ankle seems to be a bit loose. Her hips have spread so I couldnt check if she had damaged hip bones. Her back was fine. Just that one ankle. She's in with everyone else tonight. I'll let ya'll know how she does. grin.
 

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Joy,

Glad to hear it went well. I was unable to get to a computer after Fridat afternoon. Chances are it is in the ankle, most likely it's a strain to a tendon or ligament as that joint takes alot of abuse on any mobile adventure! Glad you went with the soft cast, it works well for any kind of trauma that isn't severe, in the case of sprains, strains or minor fractures it works like a champ. I would expect that if her back is fine her hips are fine, if there is any problems in the pelvic region you'll notice a drop in the top line. I think she'll be doing just fine, she'll probably be back to using the leg in about two weeks. Good job!
 
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