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Anyone had a pig with a breathing disorder?

(27 Posts)
Toottootcar Thu 12-Jan-17 19:16:42

Hello,
I was having our pigs nails clipped today and the vet said one of them has some kind of lung problem, probably congenital, and he clearly didn't think the outlook was good. He is much smaller than his friend (they were the same size at 8 weeks approx) and feels skinny. His breathing sounds a bit raspy though not always. He stays inside more than his friend but does run about when out in the pen or on the floor.
Has anyone had any experience of this type of thing? I feel sad for him and sad for my ds and for the other pig who may not have a friend.. But perhaps he could live for ages yet? He is about 9 months now.
The vet gave him a steroid shot and antibiotics but he didn't give the impression that this would do much good.
sad

FernieB Thu 12-Jan-17 21:59:00

One of my first pigs was a bit wheezy. He seemed to get on with his piggie business fine but when sleeping/resting sometimes sounded like he was gasping for breath. He was nearly 4 when he died, so did quite well really.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 12-Jan-17 22:14:32

If he has a congenital problem he won't know anything else so the 'raspiness' is 'normal' to him IYSWIM.

What you can do for Piggy is make his surroundings as suitable as you can for him so no dust, make sure their hay is dust extracted, no shavings, no sawdust, maybe fleece washed with those Washballs not detergent, smoke free room, not too near a radiator, keep him free from damp and draughts.

Hopefully he'll lead a full a life as possible, Bless him

Toottootcar Thu 12-Jan-17 22:38:01

Ahh, thank you both.
Four years makes me feel a bit better, I'd hate it if he didn't even make a year.
They have hay on newspaper, I'll need to check if it says dust extracted. We are moving soon to a bigger place where they can have a cage with a run attached so I could make one part hay and one fleece and see which he seems to prefer. Am also attempting to feed him up though how much weight cucumber can put on seems negligible! His pal is a bit bossy so I'm making sure they have two bowls now. It seems stupid in hindsight but I thought the other one was a giant rather than realising this one was tiny blush

FernieB Fri 13-Jan-17 17:09:35

Root veggies have more calories so can be useful for fattening up a slender pig. Also fruit is sugary, but only give small amounts as it can upset tummies if eaten in large quantities.

Toottootcar Fri 13-Jan-17 23:08:44

That's a good idea, thank you.

itsallbollocks Sat 14-Jan-17 09:46:27

Hope that your piggy will be ok.

Toottootcar Fri 20-Jan-17 10:21:30

Sad news today, 1 week later and i think he is gone. He was moving very slowly when I put breakfast in this morning, and he's now lying motionless with the other pig lying next to him. He was small but ok a week ago when he started on the antibiotics, have I killed him? sadsad

Toottootcar Fri 20-Jan-17 11:19:11

Have moved him into a box to wait for the children to come home. No idea what you do with the body. Now worrying about his friend, who is bound to be a bit lost. No idea how to get him a new friend. I really wish I hadn't given him anything.

FernieB Fri 20-Jan-17 11:56:54

Sorry to hear that. Pigs can suddenly take it upon themselves to pass away quietly and their poor owners then torture themselves that they did everything wrong. You did everything you could to make him comfortable and to look after him. The meds would not have hurt him in any way, he was just a poorly pig. It's nice that he went quietly with his friend and brilliant that his friend was able to be with him, so he understands what has happened.

To be practical, I've dealt with the 'pig in a box' situation by taking it to the vets. They charge about £15 to cremate them. I'd rather do that than bury them, but many others prefer burial.

As for companionship for the remaining pig. I understand he/she is very young still. I'd contact a rescue or local RSPCA and ask them if they have any pigs available for bonding with yours. Given the young age of yours, I'd be tempted to get a baby pig as they're more likely to bond. Rescues often end up with babies as they get pregnant females arriving frequently. If you give us a rough idea as to your area, we may know rescues near to you.

Trottersindependenttraders Fri 20-Jan-17 12:05:10

Sorry to hear that op. It sounds like he went peacefully which is all you can hope for. Piggies do seem to fade very quickly and you haven't done anything wrong for him, quite the opposite.

We got our two piggies from a rescue last September, we all adore them. I'm sure a good one would help with any bonding and offer some advice. flowers

Toottootcar Fri 20-Jan-17 12:14:37

Thank you both for your kind replies. The vet we deal with is shut now so can't ask about cremation.
When we bought the pigs I went to a store as I couldn't find anywhere with rescued ones - maybe I just didn't know where to look though. I'm in Edinburgh. Surviving pig is enormous, I can't imagine him with a baby sized one!

Toottootcar Fri 20-Jan-17 17:33:39

Will call the SSPCA about a companion. Have just buried him in the garden - dh is a minister so had a mini pig service!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 20-Jan-17 17:49:23

Very sad and I agree with fernie and trotters they can and do just slip away from this world without looking back (little bu**ers nice for them but not for their owners)

Antibiotics wouldn't have harmed him, but fom what you said on your first thread , it sounded like the vet was going to throw everything at him, but be preapared that it might not pan out. So really, whatever you do is worth a try but if he chooses to go, he'll go sad

We got our GP1 a tiny 6 weeks piglet boar (years agp) he was really lovely and protective of him, even tolerating GP3 wheeking when he was more than 5 footsteps away , forcing the older boar to run back to his new stepson.
They went through a re-adjustment phase when GP3 went through the teens (basically GP3 kept trying it on with GP1 but he was just told to Do One , and GP1 let him be Alpha Boar for a quiet life)

So don't let the huge size of piggy put you off, they can be quite paternal (providing there are no females around)

Cuddle your remaining pig while you all mourn the loss of the piggie that's gone.
Its quite sweet that he was lying next to his cagemate , they do feel loss (sensitive little things really)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 20-Jan-17 17:54:47

Make sure your minister DH completes his service by putting something very heavy and undiggable over him. (Our GP2 was dug up twice , the foxes can dig under , even though there were shrubs there )
I put all my guineas in sealed containers/bags/waterproof duck tape depending on what I have, you do not want to find them scattered angry

I'm still waiting for my DH to dig a hole for GP5 , she's In State in the (cold) garage (in a Lock'n'Box and a Primark bag )

atheistmantis Fri 20-Jan-17 17:56:11

We have a large 3 year old boar with a six month old boar, they get along nicely despite not having worked out who is the boss yet.

Marmalade85 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:06:12

Yes, my ex.

Toottootcar Fri 20-Jan-17 18:11:45

Thanks all. Have just sent dh back to the garden to move a slab on top...
I would hate to bring a new one home and find they didn't get on - it would be very hard to return them, and I couldn't face having to have them in two cages. Very encouraging to hear some have taken well to their new friends.

Marmalade I hope you didn't bury your ex in the garden.

FernieB Fri 20-Jan-17 19:46:48

Go to a rescue and take your pig to choose his own friend. Most rescues understand about piggy bonding and will let your boy run round with a friend before you take him home.

My old Scruffypig was nearly 4 when we adopted 6 week old Gingerpig. Gingerpig adored his Uncle Scruffy and even when he outgrew him (was substantially larger quite quickly) still deferred to him in everything, even bringing him cucumber pieces when Scruffy couldn't be bothered to get up in the morning! Sadly we lost a Scruffy at New Year and poor Ginger (now nearly 2) has been a bit lost on his own. As he's been neutered we're hoping to adopt a wife for him via the RSPCA.

atheistmantis Fri 20-Jan-17 20:45:41

We used to have two that took a while to bond, a boar and sow. We divided the cage with a wire barrier with a door and opened it occasionally. Once they were trying to groom each other through it we took it out, I think it took a month.

Toottootcar Sat 21-Jan-17 12:08:04

Hello, I have rescue centre (similar to the rspca) a ring today and they don't have any just now but may do in a while (too soon anyway). However i was told I couldn't bring mine to have an introduction, so I'd just be taking one blind in terms of whether they got on or not. Don't like the sound of that to be honest. Wonder if pet shops would be any different, probably not. confused

FernieB Sat 21-Jan-17 17:01:15

That's not great of the rescue - they clearly have very little understanding of pigs. If it is the SSPCA - you could try a different branch. They're manned by volunteers so knowledge and assistance varies.

Google local rescues - there are sometimes small local ones that are great. If you're desperate then you could ask at a pet shop if they'd let you try bonding. Some might, just make sure they give you a male pig. Not all petshops get the sex right.

atheistmantis Sat 21-Jan-17 18:01:27

Yes, the rescue still let you. When we were looking for GP3 to keep GP1 company we took GP1 with us, we didn't give them long together but they were immediately grooming each other and we took that as a good sign. They didn't properly bond before GP1 died a couple of weeks later; very sad but we now have GP3 and GP4 who we probably wouldn't have got if we'd thought it through about GP1's age.
GP1 was so sad though, he went from happy, squeaky pig to being very quiet and morose when GP2 died.

atheistmantis Sat 21-Jan-17 18:01:53

sorry, that was meant to be the rescue should let you.

Toottootcar Sat 21-Jan-17 18:37:47

Thanks, it was the sspca, I might try again when they have one available and perhaps a different person would be more keen to ensure they were a match. They surely don't want me bringing him back again!
I cannot find any other local rescues, there aren't even that many pet shops selling gps apart from the big one. I am reassured that a baby/youngish one would be an option though. Is this how people get into cycles of always having pigs in the house? smile
Watching videos of them playing last night and feeling like an idiot for being so sad!

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