Maybe I should wait one more week then, trying to exercise his jaw, and see if his chewing ability improves. During that time I will work on his family about getting him a follow-up appointment and perhaps further therapy.
This is taking its toll on me. I have been hand feeding him every 3 hours for 2 weeks yet still have no rights to determine the course of his care. A fine mess I've gotten us into.
So I threw Humphrey in with Sam and he started grooming the older pig and following him around. Next thing I knew they were munching hay together.
Your diplomacy skills are to be applauded and I am positive that without your intervention, and the advice given by all the other wonderful people within this thread he would have been dead by now.
I understand how difficult this must have been for you, I went through similar over a pig I was supposedly gifted, then all of sudden they wanted him back, I'll not name the pig here but save to say I have had him 7 yrs now, he will be 9 in July, the child was a spoilt brat, and the old scenario you dont know what you have lost til it has gone came into play, the family gifted him to me because the child would not care for it, then all of a sudden he promised to care for him, so can we have him back, short and sweet answer NO. I even said I would seem them in court first, considering I had spent a fair amount in vet bills and my time to sort out his health issues.
Had they pushed it, I would have lied, said he had died, and because it was something potentially infectious to my herd, he was cremated, no risk of exhumation then is there!
I am not concerned about the family's feelings I am sorry to say, my vote is with Humprey period, I am sure if he goes back to them, given their whacky view on vets and certain procedures, he will not survive very long, and it is unfair to expect you to up sticks and go and keep an eye on him.
I hope you can find a way to keep him with you, even spirit him away to a safehouse if need be, but whatever happens, I am so glad that there are people like you (and all of us here) in this world to care for these much maligned wonderful creatures.
Please keep us updated on Humphrey.
The family is determined not to give him up and insistent that his condition was not their fault.
They are, however, willing to intergrate him with their other pig. I am going to build them a 2x6 with 2 lofts and re-introduce them (they had been living separately). I think that will make a big difference.
That's really all I can do aside from making him as healthy as I can before giving him back.
I am wondering if I should continue to hand-feed him at all, or only offer it on a spoon (as one further step towards getting him to eat without someone feeding him). I've already cut back on the hand feeding and spaced them out more.
He is not sick anymore, although he still is thin. I need to get him eating more hay and keeping his weight up on his own.
Should I pull the plug on the handfeedings?