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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I was given 3 very young (about 3m) piggies in August. About 6 weeks ago I went down to the barn and one of the little girls was wandering aimlessly and seemed very disoriented. More important, she wasn't eating or drinking. I brought her up to the house and tucked her in to a kennel and began tube feeding her. She was having some issues with mobility of her rear leg, they were very stiff but she had sensation and could move them. I gave her a box in the bathroom to give her some room to move and she has since taken over the kitchen and dining room. I am still tube and force feeding her, she just can't seem to figure out how to eat on her own. I've made some progress in that she will actually TAKE kibble from my hand and not require I shove it into her mouth, but I really don't care to spend years tube and hand feeding (Oh did I mention she ate one of the tubes, making feeding even more stressful for me).
I have no idea if this was brought on by injury, if it is genetic or organic. The other two are perfectly fine, so I think I can rule out poison of any sort.
Any ideas of how I can train her back to eating and drinking on her own? I'd like to get her back to the barn, though she will probably not like giving up her spot next to the wood stove.
 

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Is her injury recovering? Sounds like it probably is if she has taken over the kitchen and dining room. Pbp's do like to be tended when ever possible so she may become a diva girl. My guess is, she will eat on her own when she is hungry enough. I'm sure she is enjoying homelife. It feels safe, warm and she can get attention when she eats. Maybe you could groom her for attention then talk with her while she is thinking about eating. She will know she won't lose the one on one contact thru the grooming. Just a note, I'm looking for a friend for my 15 month old girl, Piglet. She is definitely a diva. If it doesn't work out you can contact me. Good luck. You could try lots of toys to divert her focus then present food too. Let us know how it goes.

Coleen
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She is getting around fine, the only issue is feeding herself.
She becomes vey excited when food is put in front of her but just can't seem to figure out how to get it into her mouth. If I hand feed her kibble or bread, of spoon feed her she has no trouble chewing or swallowing. She comes right over when called to be tube fed.
If you were interested in her, I'd be happy to pass her on to someone with more time (I have a year old son, the other piggies, a milk cow, a calf with three hooves, 2 donkeys, chickens, ducks and guineas along with 11 big dogs) I'm not sure what her future could be here, while she is safe with the house dog (and actually sleeps next to her), I know some of the outside dogs would kill her if given a chance, and that would be a shame.
Not sure where in IL you are but I am in SW WI about 50 miles from Galena.
I'll post a pic later.
 

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agmantoo
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Check the animals mouth for a splinter/bone/foreign object stuck or even an abscessed tooth. It could be a bad case of parasites in the throat. As long as the animal reverts to walking OK I doubt if it is a nerve problem. If you cannot find anything wrong I would destroy it to get it out of the house with the child. You have already made more effort than most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As long as she trys and doesn't appear to be suffering I won't be killing her. Her issue is not the physical ability to chew or swallow, its her comprehention in how to feed herself, much like a stroke victim. I think I have caused some of the problem in tube feeding her since she has re-learned during her recovery that food comes with her head up in the air, not down on the ground so I am trying to bring her head down more and more when I hand feed. I'm starting to try her with a rabbit water bottle today. Hopefully she will catch on.
 

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It took me a long time to stop giving my girl her bottle. She wanted food in a bottle and that was that. We started scooping food in her mouth with a spoon and she eventually got it but it took a long time. I'm scanning veterinary manuals for conditions that might cause a problem. Haven't found anything yet. Does she have a notable under bite or over bite? I'll let you know if I find something.
Coleen
 

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She is beautiful. Im going to talk to hubby tonight.So glad she is used to dogs. What kind of pig is she and how big should they get? My pbp is huge so size isn't an issue, just curious. She seems really small. My girl was 90lbs at 4 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She was given to me with a few others and they were half wild when I got them. The sows he has are fairly small, I'd say they average 125# and he had 2 very small boars, probably not over 75#. There is absolutely no way of telling her breeding. He didn't even have any idea who was who in terms of parents. How big they get tends to depend on how much they are fed as much as genetics. She is certainly stunted from her health issues and my guess is she will remain small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting, and thanks for the link, but her symptoms were a bit different. Her legs were tucked up under her and while she was stiff in the hock and knee she could ambulate them. There was also no pain or rash. She was also inside so there was no sun exposure.
I'm leaning towards trama, maybe she barreled into the wall or gate, really nothing else makes sense.
 

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(formerly Laura Jensen)
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Interesting, and thanks for the link, but her symptoms were a bit different. Her legs were tucked up under her and while she was stiff in the hock and knee she could ambulate them. There was also no pain or rash. She was also inside so there was no sun exposure.
I'm leaning towards trama, maybe she barreled into the wall or gate, really nothing else makes sense.
Mine didn't have any noticeable pain or rash either. They'd just kind of lose control of their back end, kind of drag it a bit. It wasn't all the time either, but it was most of the time when it started, then would taper off. It generally lasted a few days before they'd start to improve noticeably. Usually by the time they were two or three weeks from the start, they were pretty much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think we are cured! (meaning better, NOT smoked!)
Last week she began eating on her own, very messy and time consuming but now its her time, not mine. I haven't had to hand or spoon feed for a week.
Two days ago she began attempting to drink on her own and has continued to do so, making good progress as far as her technique.
So after 4 months of hand and tube feeding she appears to be well on her way back to normal. Unfortunately it looks like I will have a house pig until the spring as it is much too cold to send her out to the barn unacclimated. Not really what I had planned but at least she made it.
 
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