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Pot Bellied Pigs/After care from pneumonia


I have a 5 yr old male pbp. 3 weeks ago he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He had a fever that climbed to 104.7, wouldn't eat, drink, or stand. I finally found a vet to come out and he gave him injections of Draxxin, Ivomec, Corticosteroid, Flunixin Meglumine, and did a urinalysis. He was on an asprin regiment for 6 days.  In the meantime, Porky's fever has passed.  His breathing is good until he moves and then it becomes very short, rapid, and raspy. (Expected). My problem is.. he still does not want to get up and move. He is eating as long as I hand feed him while he lays down. Ive been adding juice to his water to get him to drink fluids.  He is about 360 lbs and I know he is too fat so I have cut his pellets in half and added oatmeal. Ive been feeding him some watermelon and fruit to help with fluids.  He is an inside pig but goes outside to potty. However, he has been housebound since this has happened due to the cold weather.  Now he urinates as he lays in his bed. And when I help him stand, he poops all over almost as if he has no control. He doesn't make any noise at all as if he would have a UTI. Normally he was excellent about no messes in the house. I have made him a place to go potty but its not working.  He doesn't want to put any weight on his front left leg. It was swollen, but I have been putting on DMSO and that helped a lot. He seems to drag his back feet and has a very hard time standing or walking. The vet said theres nothing more he can do. Shouldn't Porky be doing better by now? What can I do to help him walk better? He weighs 3 times as much as me so I really struggle trying to move him. I don't want to put him down, but I don't know how much more of this I can handle. It seems like he is going downhill instead of getting better. I try to make him get up and walk around the house a little bit each day but it is a constant struggle with him. It breaks my heart to see him like this. We had a break in the weather and I got him outside twice. It took almost an hour to get him out there. He was so wore out and out of breath. We kept stopping for breaks. Today I tried again but he just stiffened up and screamed the whole time and I couldn't move him. I gave up. Yesterday morning, I think he may have had a small seizure. He started shaking really bad and walking backwards and then started biting his blanket almost uncontrollably and he got really mean when I tried to touch him. I finally got him to lay down and it took a good 5 minutes before his breathing was back to almost normal.  I don't know what else to do for him. Im getting no help from any vets, and I've searched for answers. Anything you can suggest would be so very appreciated.

I am not a veterinarian and can not make a medical diagnosis or provide treatment over the internet.

I think there is more than one problem happening here. Each problem is making the others worse. It could take awhile for him to feel better.

His weight makes it hard to breathe deeply, contributing to the pneumonia. It strains his joints, and may be what caused his leg to swell. So starting him on a diet will help in the long run, but maybe not right away.

If his leg makes it painful for him to get up or walk far, he is likely to potty in his bed or near it. Give him a temporary potty near his bed, perhaps some puppy pads on a rubber mat.

Massage his leg, if you can. You can also give him a little baby aspirin, 325mg per 75 lb of pig, for a couple of days. Hopefully this will improve his mobility a bit.

The description of his seizure sounds like he may have also injured his back. Back injuries are very common in overweight pigs. Again, the baby aspirin should help.

If you notice a big improvement with the aspirin you might want to let your vet know, and talk about trying something like Rimadyl until he regains more mobility.

Get him more active gradually. When he gets up to eat, give him only 1/2 his meal. When he's finished eating, make him walk across the room for the other half. After a couple of meals, divide into 1/3s, so he has to walk 3x to get his meal.

If his feet are not trimmed nicely, they can make walking even harder, so trim them if necessary.

Quakertown PA veterinary clinic will consult with other veterinarians over the phone, so if you have a vet who is willing, they might have some ideas.

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Helen Morrison


Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!


Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

BBA from KSU

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