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.
- And got the T-shirt
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.
- Supporter in '14
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.
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!
Thank you all for your comments and wishes. This was a very difficult morning.