RANT - Neglected pigs with scurvy returned to our rescue.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:18 pm


We got a call from an adopter who took two of our pigs this summer for a return. They are having some relationship issues and left the animals in the care of the significant other, who apparently decided that hay and vegetables were not a necessary part of a guinea pig diet.

I took the call and originally asked the adopter if the pigs could wait a week or so, because we're crammed for space here (already full, and also fostering several piggies over the Christmas break for other previous adopters - Part of our rescue services..) but something in her tone told me not to wait. I changed my mind and we drove 1.5 hours up there last night to see the pigs.

We are glad we did not wait. These three sows, formerly healthy, happy, adult sows all weighing over 1200 grams, are now wraiths. They are hunched over, emaciated, hopping or dragging their legs, with bulging eyes, thinning patchy hair, and pitiful mewling wheeks (when they make any sound at all). When we walked in the room they were all sitting in the corners of their filthy cage with their fur all fluffed up, noses to the corner. None of the three weighs over 600 grams. They didn't even respond to us messing with them in their cage, except to give us an awkward glance.

I have never seen anything as pitiful in my entire life. My adopter was upset and crying and absolutely horrified. They just got back into town after long absence and feel terrible. We took the pigs and all supplies and skedaddled.

We convinced a trusting pharmacist to give us some needles and I gave everybody a subcue this morning when we got back around 2 am. I thought Rosie was pitiful, with his starvation-wracked body due to teeth problems. These pigs have paper-thin skin and you can hardly grab any of it to stick the needle in. I had to stick them several times and do tiny little boluses to even get the fluids in. One of the sows didn't even react to the needle at all. Didn't jump or flinch or anything.

I am so disgusted with people in general.. How could anybody NOT NOTICE an animal losing over 800 grams of body weight? Losing hair? Getting dull looking eyes? Sitting in a feces and urine stained cage? Note, the room that they were housed in was immaculate, except for their cage. I am so disheartened.

I've never dealt with scurvy before, and had to call Charybdis on the phone hysterical to ask for advice. I hope we can pull them through. They are currently in a cage munching on hay and veggies and pellets and drinking water like they've never seen food before. I'm so glad we didn't wait. I don't know if they would have made it a week.

We got some Meloxicam from the vet, sort of unexpectedly (I called and said, scurvy, I need needles and lots of 'em.. and found a box of painkiller in the bag like a Christmas Present when I got back home..) Does anybody know the dose for a severe scurvy pig? These guys are in so much pain they are chewing on their own feet.

User avatar
Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:21 pm


I am sorry, I posted this in the wrong place. I am so tired I'm not even able to read, apparently. Can this please be moved to Medical? Thanks.

Tammy

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:22 pm


That's horrific! I'm so glad you picked them up Para. Poor pigs.

I just have to say Vit. C.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:26 pm


They will be aggressively handfed (with care taken to make sure they don't aspirate). We're feeding Critical Care with extra C and Calcium, Proform pellets, bluegrass hay, and lots of fresh veggies (although I've been feeding them bits at a time very often instead of a huge mass at once to try and alleviate the diarrhea. They're also getting subcues twice a day, Bactrim for URI symptoms, Meloxicam (I did a dose of .1 cc's this morning, but want to make sure that's right), and they have Thermacare pads in their cage to keep them warm.

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Sshadowsmom

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:27 pm


Good luck to the poor little girls.

dribble

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:38 pm


Oh, Para. Those poor, poor little things. I'm so angry at these people. I hate people, I really do. I know it's Christmas and the season of forgiveness, but torturing and starving animals is the basest form of cruelty. I hope that you can help them.

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:00 pm


How gut wrenching. I can see how someone saddled with unwanted pigs may not give them all the love and attention they should, but that level of neglect is just mind-boggling. I wish you lots of good luck with their recovery.

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:38 pm


We're doing our second round of subcues for the day.. Everybody has so far gained at least 80 grams. Wow. I guess fluids weigh a lot..

Joanna

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:46 pm


Oh how tragic. Thank goodness you didn't wait. At least they will have a happier Christmas.

zookeeper
Even Booze Hags Give

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:11 pm


DAMN!

Sounds like it's time for me to get my grim reaper costume and my gen-yoo-wine scythe out of storage. The scythe is old and rusty, but I'll get out my file and put a nice edge on it, and doctor up the handle with some beeswax.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:15 pm


No, you want to keep the blade rusty and dull.

glade
Even Republicans Give!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:16 pm


I like the way you think, snowflakey, ever think of a career switch to the Marines??

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:26 pm


Heh heh... I am a big wimp, actually. "Weakling" was what my afterschool gymnastics instructor called me (oh so many years ago).

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Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:27 pm


Goodness. I hope you never have to do a subcue on a jumping nervous wreck of a horribly underweight pig, then.

It almost sends me into the bathroom with the heaves when I do it. I sweat and shake and stuff.

But, I figure, if I wanna do vet school, this is good experience.

I wonder if rescuing guinea pigs would could towards the "experience" I have to have to get in to vet school? Or does experience only count if you are a vet tech?

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:31 pm


I'm just physically weak, from a Marines point of view. I don't want to have to do a subcue, but I can handle it from a mental point of view. Remember, I've had two unmedicated childbirths and washed cloth diapers for about 5 years!

User avatar
Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:34 pm


Well, I've had a few kidney stones, and changed a lot of disposable diapers. I dunno if that counts for much, but neener neener.

User avatar
Wheek Times 3

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 4:41 pm


Para, I'm so sorry for you and the piggies. Thank God you went and got them. It broke my heart to read this. There's just no excuse for doing something like that!

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 5:05 pm


Para, I am sure you win the pain prize. The kidney stones sounded way worse than my labor.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 5:13 pm


I'm so sorry. These people are heartless. Yes, I was figuring scurvy too. I'll move the thread.

User avatar
Paravati
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:24 pm


I think you win the diaper prize, though, for sure. I remember a thread on here somewhere that we talked about cloth vs. disposable. I got about as far as, "Rinse it off in the toilet.." and then decided I didn't ever want to use cloth diapers.

Thanks for moving the thread, Lynx. The girls all seem a world better than they did last night, and it's only been about 18 hours.

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