Yesterday while we were treating a couple of pigs who were still coughing, Spork noticed that one of the pigs had “something hanging out of it’s butt.” Not a typical prognosis but something that got our attention. Miguel and I sorted through the piglets and found the one with the issue. Turns out she had a prolapsed rectum. As if pneumonia wasn’t enough.
We grabbed the piglet and took her to the barn. We had to break the stall into two separate stalls to keep this pig away from all the others. The danger of a prolapse is that the other pigs smell the blood and decide that whatever that thing is, it must be food. Obviously that’s bad for the pig with the prolapse.
Once we had everybody separated, we took the piglet into the milking parlor which doubles as our emergency room. We have water, a drain, a way to secure animals, and my medical bag.
Here you can see our setup. The piglet was tied in a loop behind the front legs and then tied to the steel stanchion. I could tie a Buick to that stanchion so the pig couldn’t budge it. Miguel took his normal position of calming the animal while I did all the doctory/vet type stuff (sorry for the fancy medical terms. 🙂
It’s hard to see, but there is about a 2.5 inch prolapse hanging out of the rear end of this piglet. I’m seriously questioning the wisdom of buying pigs from other people vs. raising them ourselves. Between being sick and now this, maybe it would be easier to just raise our own. We are space limited so my preference has been to buy pigs vs. raise. Some pigs we buy are awesome and have no issues, some have nothing but issues. At least we didn’t have another Flash Gordon
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, I have my hands up a pigs bum. Folks, being a farmer isn’t pretty. There is poop, life, death, and everything in between. This is a new one, but nothing worse that I’ve seen before. The point here is we are treating this piglet with all the care we can and trying to help it have a good life. This is a genetic condition, one that isn’t the pigs fault or our conditions. All we can do is get the pig healthy and move forward, and not buy any more pigs from this breeder again.
The piglet was none to happy having us drag it into the milking parlor. There was much squealing and fighting. However once the pig was inside and we started cleaning the prolapse, she settled right down and seemed to appreciate that we were trying to help.
Unfortunately there was no way to manually push the prolapse back into the little piglet. I talked to the vet and they couldn’t have been more helpful. After telling me that they could definitely fix the issue, but at an impractical cost, the vet told me to keep the pig isolated and to coat the prolapse with ordinary table sugar. It was at that point that I remembered that I love vets and their practical fixes to issues. Sugar is hygroscopic (thanks Alton Brown for teaching me that) and will pull moisture from the prolapse, also helping with the swelling. We are going to treat the piglet with a sugar rub for the next few days, until we can either reduce the swelling or get to a point where we need to employ the vet directly. In the meantime we treated the piglet with .5 mL of Bantomine and .75 mL of penicillin.