- I GAVE, dammit!
Pinta - she is desperate for lots of Xrays for the vets to study and I am sure your input will be invaluable to her.
I have to agree. The info in the article needs some explanation and I'll try to ferret it out. (Thanks for the info Deborah) What impressed me the most was just the fact that every satin showed bone density loss. That alone is hard to explain away in any way shape or form.
I'm wondering what sorts of supplementation was done that "didn't work." There are many differences in calciums, so that's where more information is needed. I know there's quite a bit information out there about cats and dogs, but they handle calcium in a different way.
I've already promised Dr. N. when Elvis' time comes, he can do all of the tissue and bone samples to add to the data.
Interesting stuff, that's for sure.
I've heard of several new cases, lately, that were not posted on the board. Way too many for it to be coincidence. Several well known vets are now acknowledging and recognizing the problem, so it must not all be in Pinta's head after all.
No one ever claimed all Satins had bone problems. You're putting words in my mouth. I never said that and I don't think Pinta has, either. Please point me to a place where I said all Satins are affected. I dare you. Yeah, that's what I thought.
The fact remains that more and more people with sick Satins find out that there is, indeed, something wrong with their bones. Too many to be a fluke.
Most people don't have their pigs freeranging or have steps the pigs have to climb to get back home. Every single arthritis problem has been discovered by watching how well they take the stairs and pigs who used to come out a lot and then stop, usually have health issues as well.
I have a knack for filing weird bits of info until they merge together in an "Ahah" moment. Unfortunately the "Ahah" moment is not considered scientific so it can be like pulling teeth to get people to listen(heart issues being common in pigs was an Ahah moment).
Unless every satin is xrayed regularly, you can't say some satins have no bone problems. It's not like they tug at your shirt and say "my bones are achy so I'm going to be a bit of a sloth today". I think some satins might develop problems later in life than others and I think many will go undiagnosed because their owners aren't observant and mistake an inactive pig for an aging pig.
I had been leaning towards a specific line having a genetic problem but it seems too widespread for that to be true. Although Josephine has had many healthy satins that lived to an old age, unless they were all xrayed, even she wouldn't know the state of their bone density. And she did post that she did have a satin with bone issues on one of these satin threads.
The more common the breed becomes the more problems observant owners are more likely to find. If the owner isn't observant they won't know why "Shiny" died and write the death off to old age. Face it - the vast majority of pig owners don't get necropsies done or xrays or even take their pigs to the vet.
Because it looks like the problem might be related to the hair shafts(and I have collected enough bits of info for an "Ahah") I'm getting baseline xrays done of my skinnies who have a teddy thing happening with the hair they have. Bliss already has heart issues and Heart and Gretchen remain small. A dental xray of the hindleg won't need sedation and the vet can mark precisely how they are xraying so we can compare in 6 months(earlier if I see slow gaits).
When I get time(laugh hysterically) I'll try to get the study info but as it is I barely have time to log on here.
A friend with interests in dogs has told me they get calcium deficiency if the phosphorous is out. I can't remember if she said too much is the problem or too little. But with satins it might be a breed thing - in order for a hollow hair shaft to be created, the body can't use calcium properly. Just wildly guessing here.
Considering the pain of calcium depletion and the risk of bone breaks - I'd supplement and do twice daily hydration subcues. And check via xray in a month to see if the bones are filling in and the sludge is better or worse.
I don't know how polycitra fits into the equation but if your vet okays it, might be worth trying.
There's no protocol since there is so little info. Basically we're stumbling blind here and building on experience. What hurts more? Sludge or bones? If bones hurt more treat them and hope you don't eff up the sludge problem.
It also takes someone to describe it and get it out there. Once that happens, then others will notice, word gets out, connections are made, and more investigation takes place. That's what is so fabulous about a place like this. Whether or not a satin pig demonstrating these problems ends up being diagnosed with OD, the fact of the matter is, the pig guardian is armed with that information and can pursue it properly, instead of just saying it's vit. C deficiency, or dismissing it as a sign of old age.
My feeling is that given what I've seen here and my limited experience, I'd feel more than comfortable telling a person with a satin or rough coated pig to get an x-ray at the very first sign of difficulties.
Also, Pinta makes a good point. When your pigs are running around the room, it's much easier to see an increase in hopping or misstepping. Thinking back, Elvis started sitting down to eat all the time probably about a year ago. I thought it was strange, but didn't really make the connection then.
It really is a shame that breeders keep producing these specialty breeds. Elvis is a perfect example. He's a beautiful pig and people gravitate to him. That most certainly is why he was a breeder in Hollister. But if there is a genetic connection, then there's the possibility that many, many pigs will have to experience pain just to satisfy our love of something beautiful. Sad, indeed.
I was just reading about the possible use of a very successful human supplement, calcitonin-salmon, that one exotics vet thinks would work on animals, exotics in particular. This is the article.
Certainly something to discuss with your vet.