Rescue Journal

and on to other saints our poor sick pig.

Carol  ·  May 5, 2011

a reminder that tomorrow night is opening night of renee and ryans's play with saints getting half of the ticket sales. break a leg you guys we will be there to cheer you on!

herman is really quite ill and no one can figure out why. and i am not about to sit around twiddling my thumbs and let him just die. soooo..what do i know for sure?..he is not eating and drinking at all for the past 2 days and very little for the few days before that..this is not good. so i know he is getting dehydrated and i know he is getting constipated and i know he is not getting enough calories in... we can actually do something about those three things.

it is pretty difficult to hook a pig up to iv's for fluid and electrolyte replacement..just try finding their veins and then try even harder to keep the iv's in. and you cannot rehydrate them by going sub cutaneously..their skin and their fat layers are far too thick to get fluids absorbed that they don't like people sticking needles in them..the needles have to be big and that freaking well hurts.
but you can rehydrate any living creature thru their intestines...the intestines is where most of the water is absorbed by the body. but if you can't get them to drink..what do you do? you could insert a feeding tube..but good luck on confirming tube placement each time on a pig (you cannot hear the test air insertion "whoosh" into the stomach with a stethescope (too much fat between your ear and their stomach) you might just be pouring a ton of fluid straight into their lungs...dead pig.

anyway on the way to work this morning a blast from the past brainstorm. dr. petrelli used to have me rehydrate the end stage kidney cats by inserting fluid directly into their colon. if you can do it to a cat..i bet you can do it to a pig. so i called and asked the much and how often can i give a rehydrating enema to a pig?

the answer is 300-400cc...about three times a day...that is 900-1200cc for herman per day. plus we are force feeding a thickend mix of gatorade (fluids, vitamins, calories and electrolytes) and apple sauce (calories and a few more vitamins with lax-a-day tossed in) if we syringe feed 60 mls 4 times a day..that is another 240 mls...herman is almost up to 1200-1500..but he does immediately lose some of that that he squirts out his butt in protest. still...if we can get 1000 mls in him each 24 hours..that has got to help him feel better..more hydrated, and his bowels should start moving again til we can figure everything else out.

now herman is not a great fan of my brilliant idea but tough shit...when he can get himself up and run away from me..i will happily quit bugging him....but i am not letting that pig die without fighting back.

and percy is absolutely convinced we are torturing poor soon as the screaming starts in the barn (take this with a grain of salt please...all pigs are total hysterics and scream bloody murder when they are pissed off)...anyway..percy doesn't know this so he is getting upset, i told him herman is a big cry baby and just to ignore him. maybe enema's aren't a lot of fun but they sure as heck don't hurt.

today i taught the staff how to give enema's to a pig..tomorrow night i am teaching laura the same thing so on the weekend while i am working, she can teach mo and ko too. and pretty damn soon many people at saints will know how to give a pig an enema cuz one day to someone else it might also be an important thing to know about caring for sick little pigs!

please god, let this work!




damn, Carol! you are HARDCORE!

enemas only hurt people like crohnies, i think. myself, i can't believe people have colonic irrigation and PAY for it- the smallest enemas hurt too much for me. too much inflammation.

maybe the fluids are too cold? eh, more incentive to get him to jump up and run away! i would.


no..the vets don't think it is infection but i was going to ask them to start him on them anyway tomorrow just in case.

i think what happened tho is he got constipated and we didn't notice cuz herman has always from day one pooped in his stall but recently...wilbur has started to poop in hermans stall when he is visiting or when they are trading bedrooms too so no one really knew that herman wasn't pooping as much as he should.
and i think the more constipated he became, the less he moved around and then he started feeling not well and quit eating and drinking. for the past two days..his poops have been like rabbit poop..that was when i finally clued in that maybe the vets were wrong and he wasn't so lethargic this week cuz he is fat..maybe he was constipated and getting dehydrated and in the middle of a vicious circle..not enough food and fluids in cuz he felt full from his bowels...and his bowels weren't working so great cuz his food and fluid intake was down.
interestingly enough..i may have started all of this...he was finishing off the little bits of gideons breakfast each morning and zooming in to finish off the bits of his lunch and i said not to let him do that cuz he was getting fat....within a week or two he was not pottering around looking to finish off gideons breakfast and lunch anymore...maybe the high bran levels in gideons mix was actually good for his bowels.