Pot Bellied Pigs/erysipelas and subsequent arthritis
Petunia is 5years old. 8 weeks ago she was diagnosed with erysipelas. She was treated with Baytril and penicillin. She seemed to improve. She has been eating normally. She is left wth very bad arthritis. She gets up to urinate and defecate and get a drink of water. Otherwise, she doesn't move. When she does walk, she is obviously in
a lot of pain. Can you recommend something to offset her pain. Also, do you know if there is likely to be a reoccurrence.
Thank you for your time, Virginia
Erysipelas is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Petunia is lucky to be alive.
Many factors contribute to arthritis in pigs, including hereditary disposition, spending too much time on hard concrete, overgrown hooves, obesity and difficult physical obstacles like stairs. We can't do much about heredity factors in arthritis. But, the other issues can be addressed. Keep piggy's hooves well trimmed, if she isn't walking much they are not getting a chance to wear down naturally. Replace stairs with non-slip ramps and provide some soft sleeping surfaces.
The usual treatment for arthritis is Rimadyl, available by prescription. Baby aspirin, given at 325mg per 75 lb of pig, is another popular remedy. If you can not get your pig on a scale, use the weight-by-measurement method described at http://www.farec.org/weighing_pig.htm
to accurately determine your pigs weight. Remember that most pigs weigh about double what a dog of the same size would weigh.
There's a wealth of home remedies for arthritis in people, and people have tried most of them on their pigs. These include joint supplements made for people or for horses, nutritional supplements, and DMSO or MSM. If you decide to try any of these treatments, remember to measure your pig to get an accurate weight, and use that weight to determine doses. Three reliable vendors of supplements are www.valleyvet.com www.jefferspet.com and www.healthypigs.com