piglet fading fast

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by j3nnif3r, May 9, 2005.

  1. j3nnif3r

    j3nnif3r Chief Cook & BottleWasher

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    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've got 3 5-day old piglets in the house. This morning they ate fine, but when I went to feed them this afternoon one of them wouldn't eat and could barely walk. I've given him a shot of penicillin (and will continue to do so as long as he's alive) and have been giving him electrolytes and water with a syringe, but he seems to have no use of his back legs at all, still won't eat, and is very lethargic. I have them under a heat lamp (he's separated from the other 2) but he is still shivering, his underside is bright pink, and looks to be wasting away. Is there anything more I can do for this poor baby? Any ideas what could be wrong with him? I've been searching the forums but can't seem to find anything that matches.
    Thanks

    edited to add: I went downstairs to give him some more electrolytes and he was gone. Thanks anyway. If you have any ideas what may have caused this please let me know. I will be taking the remaining 2 piglets into the vet tomorrow.
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    New Zealand
    You don't say why you have these piglets in the house in the first place - it may have some bearing on what the piglet died of.

    There are a number of things is could have been inlcluding Splayleg, Meningitis and Encephalitis, all of which can cause death.

    I have to be honest and say that when a pig is shivering, convulsing, is weak, ataxic, can't walk or won't eat, I dispose of them humanely. I've learnt the hard way that these piglets are too far gone to recover.

    I hope you have more success with the remaining two.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. royB

    royB Active Member

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    Dec 15, 2004
    I can help personally, but you might try the problem solver at www.thepigsite.com. Click on "Information Center" in the menu then "Disease Problem Solver".

    You can enter the symptoms and it will give you a list of possible matches. The people over there may be able to help as well.

    Roy
     
  4. j3nnif3r

    j3nnif3r Chief Cook & BottleWasher

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    Well, I called the vet first thing this morning to see if she thought I should bring the 2 piglets in and she still hasn't called me back. The remaining 2 piglets are doing good, but of course, if either of them stop eating or acting strange I'll take them in immediately.

    I know I left out a large part of the story, but I didn't really have time to type it all out last night. Our momma pig had farrowed 3 piglets when we went out to feed at 7:30 am last week. I could tell she was still pushing and after about 2 unproductive hours I started getting worried. I called the vet, who told me I could use oxytocin or check her manually. I sent my brother to the vet (half hour one way) to pick up the shots and I called my father-in-law who has had experience with pigs. He checked her manually for me, and said he felt no more piglets - just what felt like the after birth, so we decided against giving her the oxytocin. I kept an eye on her all the rest of that day, and the next day she would get up and get a drink but she wouldn't eat. She'd go right back in her house and lay down and feed the babies.
    I thought she was doing better, but I was wrong. 2 days after the piglets were born, we went out to feed at 7:30 am or so and found her dead. She had prolapsed. She did pass the afterbirth, and when I asked the vet why that would happen, she told me "Sometimes that just happens - it could be hereditary."

    Last night before I posted I searched the forum and found the link to the pigsite - it gave me about 10 things it could be, but still no definate. That's why I wanted to talk to the vet today, but I was told she was very busy today and would call me back. That was almost 7 hours ago.

    It's hard for me to talk about Juliet (our sow) because I feel so incredibly guilty. I don't know what I could have done, but she trusted me to take care of her and I obviously let her down. I still can't talk or think about it without crying. And last night with the piglet made it worse. I don't think I'll be breeding any more pigs - I obviously don't have enough knowledge or experience to deal with issues should they arise. And it breaks my heart that I lost my Juliet because of my inadequecy.

    Thanks again, and please take it easy on me. I know I messed up and I'm beating myself up enough for all of you.

    Now to keep the other 2 piglets alive and healthy...
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Jennifer,
    You didn't mess up at all. You, and your father-in-law, made decisions that were right at the time and quite honestly I can't see what else you could have done. Please don't let the experience put you off keeping or breeding pigs as it is usually a most satisfying and rewarding experience.

    About 3 years ago I had a sow farrow 7 healthy piglets and got rid of the afterbirth in the normal way. She was a bit slow about eating but was doing so. Three days later I went down to feed her and I couldn't see the pen for blood. The walls, floor, her piglets, the feed dish, absolutely everything was covered in it and it was still pumping out of her vulva. To make it worse it was pouring down with rain and I couldn't get her to stay in the house and her piglets were hungry and following her around so they were wet and shivering. I took them off her and went and rang the vet. She was there in just over half an hour. Did an internal and couldn't find where the blood was coming from. Gave her something to shut the uterus down and that didn't work either. The sow was now down out in the yard and wasn't going to get up again. I asked the vet to put her down. An autopsy gave no indication whatsoever of what had been wrong with her. For weeks later I asked myself could I have done better, could I have acted sooner. No, I couldn't have and there was no point in beating myself up about it. I only managed to rear two of the 7 which was most disappointing but one is now a breeding sow and a lovely pig.

    Give yourself time to come to terms with it and I think you will look at it differently. Concentrate on the two little ones you've been left to rear which sound as though they're in good health. Believe me, I do know how you feel.
    Take care and chin up :)
    Ronnie