Senior pig - sudden food issue

MaineMom76

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:26 pm


Hi, our senior pig (6 years old) is having some issues suddenly, and I'm not sure what to make of it.

She just saw the vet a few weeks ago, who gave her a clean bill of health. She had lost some weight but that was partly because she was no longer eating her sister's food (her sister died within the last 6 months due to advanced cancer). But other than the start of cataracts, the vet found nothing wrong with her.

About a week ago, we discovered that she was no longer eating the red pepper and lettuce she has been loving for 6 years. She is refusing it. However, she will devour a strawberry and seems to enjoy some baby spinach. So she's not completely avoiding food. But after 6 years, it's a bit odd for her to suddenly start shunning it. Also, I don't want to be giving her fruit everyday. That was just to see if she would still eat a high-preferred food. She's eating very slowly, but still eating the spinach and strawberry I gave her a half hour ago.

In addition, she also is not moving very quickly at all. She used to hate being picked up and would be difficult to catch. Now, she literally will not move to get away and is fine being picked up. Just an odd thing for her. She also has started developing a cataract in one eye and that eye is looking gunky. Possible infection or is that part of developing the cataract?

Is this just her getting older? I'll call the vet in the morning, but it's just a bit odd because I can't say she isn't eating. She just is only eating certain things, and that's not like her.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:44 pm


In no particular order...

Gunk in the eye has nothing to do with cataracts. They're completely enclosed within the eye, gunk is outside the eyeball.

The fact that she doesn't move when you try to catch her means she's not feeling well. That's always enough for me to schedule a vet visit. The eye may be an indicator of a URI, or she may have something else going on.

All of my older pigs have gone on non-eating strikes occasionally, and I've never been able to figure out why. For a couple of weeks last month, neither of my pigs would eat their bell pepper or their tomatoes, and ordinarily they love them. I tried different colored peppers, different types of tomatoes, nothing worked. I kept offering them, and one day, they started eating them again, just like always.

But it may help to give her some supplemental vitamin C. Older pigs just don't process things as well as younger ones. I had one older one that i put on Oasis Vita Drops multi-vitamins when she lost weight and her hair got dull. I gave her C supplements initially, then switched to the multi-vitamins after she started looking better. I don't give as much of the multi-vitamin as Oasis recommends, or as frequently, because I'm concerned about them getting too many fat soluble vitamins, But about a third of the recommended dosage two or three times a week seemed to work well.

User avatar
Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:12 pm


I have two sows from the same litter. They turn 6 next week. One of them has cataracts in both eyes. The centers of her eyes are solid white. She doesn't have gunk in her eyes but she does have a plugged tear duct and her cleaning fluid runs down her face when she cleans. It is a milky color but dries without leaving any gunky stuff.

The same sow is losing a little weight so I have an appointment booked for her to see her vet on Friday. She eats everything but is not as motivated as her sister to come out of her house during the day. On the days I am at home I encourage her to come out and eat by offering bits of lettuce dipped in water. Once I can get her to come out she will continue to eat.

How are your piggy's stools? I look at quantity and quality of my girls' stools. If lots of healthy poops are coming out then I figure adequate food is going in. If the stools become smaller or drier then I make sure they are drinking and eating enough.

My girls compete for food and maybe now your girl is alone there is not the same urgency to eat. I dread the day one of my sows is alone. I am thankful they have both made it together this long.

Does your sow have any arthritis? Maybe she is reluctant to move because of arthritis. One of my sows has arthritis in her knees and she is a little stiff when she moves. Good luck and please keep us posted.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:51 pm


I think of pain, too. Ditto bpatters. Getting her checked out by an experienced vet is important. Do start weighing her daily right now.

MaineMom76

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:07 pm


Thank you all so much.

I will be calling the vet (her regular exotic pets vet) first thing in the morning. In the meantime:
1) We are hand feeding her whatever she'll eat
2) We have given her vitamin C pills
3) When you're talking about milky discharge, that's exactly what it's like, but it's only coming from the eye with the cataract. That's why I was asking if there was a connection. Is it possible she's just not feeling up to cleaning herself? Just weird that it's from one eye.
4) In looking at her teeth, the area around her mouth isn't clean - like the fur feels like she hasn't cleaned her face.
5) She's been having normal stools that I've seen, although when we had her out earlier, she peed and had a tiny tiny tiny part of a stool that was a little wetter than usual.
6) She's definitely not as "squeaky" or peppy.

I will update after I talk to the vet tomorrow, thank you again!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:23 pm


It's not weird that it's just coming from the one eye. She's probably got a blocked tear duct. You can take a clean warm damp cloth and very, very, VERY gently massage just in and under the corner of her eye a couple of times a day and see if that clears it up.

MaineMom76

Post   » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:25 pm


I just wanted to include some pics. As you can see, one side looks fine, the other side not so much. Again, I'll be calling in the morning. I'm more concerned about her lack of movement and lack of appetite.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

MaineMom76

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:22 am


The vet is full today, but wants me to drop her off so they can keep an eye on her and check on her. I'll update when I know more.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:24 am


Hoping you can get some answers!

User avatar
Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:18 am


I am glad you are going to the vet. Her eye looks irritated. Could she have poked it with a strand of hay? Good luck today. I hope you can get some answers.

MaineMom76

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:49 am


Unfortunately, the vet thought that there was something much more sinister going on and that she was in too much pain to let her go on. After a lot of discussion, we decided to let her go. The vet thought that even if we could get some blood work or an x-ray, whatever it was going to find wasn't going to be treatable and at her age and the amount of pain she appeared to be in, it was the most humane thing to do.

Thank you all for your comments and wishes. This was a very difficult morning.

Image

User avatar
mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:30 am


I'm sorry.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:43 am


I'm very sorry.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:49 am


I am so sorry for your loss. This is such a difficult decision.

User avatar
Delaine
Supporter in '14

Post   » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:36 pm


I am very sorry for your loss.

User avatar
GrannyJu1
Armcavy

Post   » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:18 pm


I'm so sorry for your loss! Rest in peace, little one. You're loved and missed.

Post Reply