Yipes! Poor Nina has a badly swollen foot!

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Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 9:04 am

Nina is my pig who loses her appetite on baytril. I notice bactrim is listed for staph infections (common on the foot).

Nina these days often has a slight droop of the eye. Not very noticeable. Great appetite, great hay eater, stable weight about 3 - 3+ pounds. Good looking incisors. The gauze wrap I put on last night stayed on. It was taped around the ankle so it couldn't slide off (not tightly but tight enough). I'm going to get something to soak her foot in later today and more wrapping products. And fresh triple antibiotic ointment (this is BNP?).

She was out munching on pellets this morning. Pinta, would an ulceration like you describe from an irritation by a poop also involve swelling of the foot?

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Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 9:56 am

Wow! Poor Nina!

Ok...I'm really surprised at how concentrated other vets use Chlorhex (Nolvassan). It's only safe for skin at a concentration of 1 part Chlorhex to 40 parts water, aka 1:40. Anything stronger than that (1:10, 10:1) is way too strong.

Lynx, if you can get your hands on Chlorhex or Betadine, I'd soak that foot 5-10 minutes in *warmed* solution 3-4 times a day.

The more pus-looking blood you can get out of there, the better. The more open that ulcerated area stays, the better. That means more of the crap can drain out, rather than staying in.

As for the swelling, if it was closed over when you first found it, trapping all the pus would have made it swell.

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Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:30 am

It looked like clear blood last night. The cap/scab that came off looked like it might have been slightly pussy on the undersurface. I'll see what I can find on a Sunday.

I take it you would wrap the foot after each soak? Would you also put some triple antibiotic ointment on?

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Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 12:27 pm

As long as you are soaking it 3-4 times daily and then re-wrapping it, it probably wouldn't hurt. The ointment wouldn't be a bad idea, either. It will help make a barrier to new infection. As for the blood, as long as she isn't soaking the wraps repeatedly, I wouldn't worry. A little blood is good.


Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:29 pm

Yes, a simple ulceration without pus can cause the soft tissues to swell thru inflammation. Often pigs with bumblefoot end up with permanently swollen bulbous feet. They may not have any ulceration on them, but they remain swollen and the only thing I've found that reduces the swelling is pressure bandages. But if the swelling is related to circulation and the circulation problems continue, the swelling will return. It's a vicious cycle. The swollen foot is more easily ulcerated. And I have had heart pigs that have had only one foot swollen at a time but often both feet are swollen.

Peony's cause of her swollen foot was definitely a poop that got stuck on. If she had a better immune system, I'm fairly certain there would not have been an ulceration occurring.

Her crackling was louder last night so I did put her on Lasix. I'm hoping one dose will be enough. Bloom, the other definite heart pig is crackling too. Typical. If there's something going around the heart pigs will get it. So she's on Doxy too. Both will get the steam humidifier tonight.

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Sun Apr 06, 2003 5:42 pm

Hope she gets better soon Lynx!

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:06 am

Lynx, do you think she's developing pea eye? Haven't there been some connections between pea eye and heart conditions?


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:50 am

So far I'm the only one making a connection between Pea Eye and heart disease so it isn't based on science. It's based on personal observation of a small sampling of pigs.

However, I definitely saw a complete disappearance of Pea Eye in Zag when she went on Lasix for her heart (confirmed as having heart disease at autopsy). This told me that maybe Pea Eye isn't fat based as I was previously told but has an element of fluid build-up causing it. I also saw Nigel's Pea Eye reduced by 50% when we put him on a low daily dose of Lasix for about 6 weeks further supporting the theory that Pea Eye and circulation were connected. Nigel also had heart disease confirmed at autopsy.

There has certainly been enough "evidence" in my herd to connect Pea Eye with heart disease/circulation. Enough evidence to red flag it anyway.

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:34 am

She had a slight droop. At this moment it is not pretty noticeable but if it is bumblefoot, could well be somehow related. If I get in to see the vet, I'll ask about heart medication if this does not clear up in a reasonable amount of time.

By the way, I got some chlorhexidine gluconate 2% solution from my vet friend. Bottle says to dilute 2Tablespoons to a gallon which is 1:64. I am doing about 1:50 dilution and feeding her a snack. Nina has been pretty decent about it but very crabby about taking anything orally. I'll need to find a cheap supply of gauze.

My vet friend emphasized the importance of having the leg dry before wrapping and suggested trimming some of the hair in the area to avoid skin problems.

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 9:21 am

That's interesting, pinta, on the pea eye. Sherman is developing pea eye. I'll be sure to monitor him.

Good luck, Lynx. with Nina. Sounds like she's tolerating your wrappings though and that is good.

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 11:01 am

Pinta, you mentioned a pressure bandage when the foot is no longer ulcerated, just swollen. Is this just gauze with tape to protect the foot? Is it something else? Looking closely, I'm thinking the other foot is showing some signs of swelling and am thinking this is bumblefoot, not an injury (the only thing abrasive she walks on is hay and I can hardly remove that).

The vet I was going to see is gone for the week. His co-vet doesn't see exotics. Guess I'll look around.

Zoe, if you read this, what antibiotics did you use and did the swelling ever go down? You've been battling this for a while, no? You soak twice a day? Continue to put on NewSkin dressing on foot that is not ulcerated?


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:04 pm

You can use a pressure bandage if the foot is ulcerated. It's just gauze wrapped a tiny bit snug on the most swollen area. Make sure the claws are enclosed. I cover with vet tape and a couple of adhesive strips to act as protection for the sole.

The Newskin works really well if you want something simple and quick but it won't reduce the swelling.

The fact that the other foot is starting to swell would make me really suspect circulation problems. I don't think the walking surface has anything to do with it.

It is damned hard to convince vets to try heart meds when they don't have a heart diagnosis. Most vets are used to cats and dogs whose heart problems can be easily(comparatively) diagnosed. Even my vet, who is familiar with how often they have heart, is leery of plunging in with heavy duty meds. The Fortekor is definitely one she feels comfortable trying. The Lasix is the one she is worried about.

All I can suggest is printing out the heart information here and asking the vet to check into VIN so he can ask other vets about the incidence of heart problems in pigs.

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:24 pm

Okay, I took Nina to see a vet. She doesn't see many pigs (the guy who does was gone) but seemed to know more about them than I expected.

Nina was put under anesthesia and the foot cleaned out. The main reason I went it was because I just couldn't tell if the stiff whitish stuff that did not come out easily was part of her foot or puss. She claimed it was puss, removed it and flushed the area. Said she could feel the bone when she was removing stuff (I watched).

The plan is to give baytril (5mg/kg -- 2Xday)for a couple weeks, switch to bactrim if she quits eating, flush the area a couple times a day using either a standard 1cc syringe or (if I can't get it in) a needled syringe carefully (this is what she used and I asked about them since I was afraid it would close up). She gave me a couple of those removable syringe needles that fit on the standard 1cc syringes.

Things were pretty bloody. She recovered okay and I guess I'll use aspirin @83mg/kg (asked about a pain killer) if she is in obvious pain.

She claims it will probably still look swollen for a week. That any whitish stuff is puss which should not adhere inside when flushing. Does this sound right?

She also said we could x-ray to see if there was bone involvement but this just started and it seems the treatment would be similar (baytril) so I'm going to see if things get better first. She also thought it was just the one foot and the other looked pretty good.


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:45 pm

I'm surprised that she did not give you a flushing syringe, which has a thin curved tip for inserting into abcessed cavities.

Did she think that the infection might be in the bone? If the Baytril is not working, you might want to try Doxycycline.

I suppose if you see any whitish stuff in there it is most likely pus. However, if you have been irrigating the area, the flesh may start to look lighter from being soggy.

Before flushing an abcess, I apply a hot, wet compress for 5-10 minutes. This seems to loosen up the pus and make it rise so that it is easier to get out. The pig appreciates it too because I think it dulls the pain.

So I heat 5-10 minutes, wipe with antiseptic to sterilize, squeeze gently to get the pus out, wipe that off again, then flush with the syringe, dry, then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage if prescribed. Abcesses heal pretty fast here with this regimen.


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:48 pm

Basically the pus should not adhere, and come out during flushing. If it adheres and doesn't come out it may not be pus.

Yeah, the feet really bleed once they get going. Did you discuss blood pressure meds?


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:50 pm

I agree on the curved flushing syringe. I don't really understand how you are supposed to use the needles without poking her.


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 3:52 pm

Not to mention, when the wound starts to heal, it will be harder and harder to get the regular syringe in there.

Lynx, can you check with the vet to see if she can locate a flushing syringe for you? If not, email me your address/P.O. and I will airmail you a flushing syringe. I have 2 brand new ones that haven't been used.


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 4:15 pm

I use Nolvasan diluted at 1 to 2oz in 1 gallon of water and use it as a general cleanser in my cages as well as a scrub/flush for wounds... its very diluted but I have had good results with it that way. A gallon of concetrated nolvasan lasts me a while. Another plus to the nolvasan is that it has a rather pleasant odor but thats a whole other story =D

They also make a topical antiseptic cream which I prefer to triple antibiotic ointments like neosporin because they are so sticky.

Good luck with your little girl!

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Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 4:48 pm

It was my idea to have her give me the needle tipped syringe because I thought it would close up and the 1cc medicine syringe I didn't think would do it (she used a needletip on to flush it when she was under anesthesia).

I called them back, she happened to answer the phone. They don't have them. I called another vet office that said they could sell me one so I'll try to get it tomorrow. I take it the curved tip is quite narrow? Narrower than the tip of a 1cc syringe?

I did not discuss blood pressure meds at this time, as it looks like it may have been an injury to one foot. If there are problems healing or the other foot swells, I need to do so. And next week the guy who sees more gps will be back.

Thanks for all your advice. I'll take notes and use your tips.


Post   » Mon Apr 07, 2003 6:58 pm

Quite a while ago, I sorta kinda remember hearing that cream pigs had a predisposition to pea eye. Is this the case or am I loosing my mind?

I'm asking because of the three pigs I hace with cream in them, one has mild pea eye and the two others have droopy eye lids that can't really be called pea eye just yet, but it looks like it's heading that way. And cara's Sherman has cream and pea eye, too.

Can someone confirm? Joséphine? Kleenmama? Anyone?

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