Violet's medical thread

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ItsaZoo
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Post   » Sun May 02, 2021 11:13 pm


That's good news - thanks for the update.

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Zaphy

Post   » Sun Mar 27, 2022 3:59 pm


Violet is still around with us at age 7 now, which is awesome! She does seem a bit prone to corneal ulcers though- she had another one in August last year, which we took care of with ofloxacin eye drops. At that point the vet prescribed lubricating eye ointment for her, which I've been using not daily but any time it seemed like one or both eyes were irritating her the slightest bit in the hopes of keeping future ulcers at bay.

She is also now on gabapentin and meloxicam daily for arthritis pain. She has been slowly losing weight over the last several months as well, which I and her vet have been monitoring. This is probably unrelated, but a few days ago she suddenly began having trouble moving her back legs, one in particular. Just acting significantly stiffer than usual, not dragging the foot or limping or anything. She seemed to get better over the next couple days so I figured she must have strained a muscle or something.

Yesterday (Saturday evening) I noticed that she had begun developing another corneal ulcer, so I crossed my fingers that it wouldn't get too much worse over the day today and made plans to call the vet first thing Monday. It is worse today of course, but still only affecting the upper part of her eyeball near her eyelid so I wasn't going to call the emergency vet about it. Here's the kicker though, this afternoon I found a second pig had developed a corneal ulcer on one of her eyes (and I thought I saw a little bit of redness on her pea eye last night but didn't see any cloudiness or other irritation upon closer exam, so it is definitely new today). I have a herd of seven and checked the rest of the pigs- one other has an eye that looks slightly suspect so I'm going to keep an eye there as well.

So... question- are corneal ulcers really ever contagious(some underlying condition maybe)? Is this much more likely coincidence (my current batch of hay is not the best, perhaps it's just extra pokey and worth replacing)? Should I separate these pigs from the herd just in case while i pursue treatment?

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Lynx
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Post   » Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:34 pm


Good question. If so, the choice would be between bacterial or viral. Initially I was wondering if her eye was lubricating properly. Is your house dry? Warm, wet compresses on the eye with gentle massage can help open blocked tear ducts if they are involved. Dry eyes could certainly contribute to ulcers.

I think you will have to bring these questions up with the vet and see what he/she has to say. Is your hay soft? Are there pokey parts? Abrasion and injury might also cause the ulcers.

Let us know what the vet says (and yay to being 7 years old!).

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Zaphy

Post   » Fri Apr 01, 2022 2:51 am


Vet said pretty much the same thing- depends if it's bacterial or viral and what caused the injury in the first place, so technically sure they could be contagious but he didn't recommend any action beyond just watching the rest of the pigs. Warm compresses are a good idea, I think I'll give that a try once the tobramycin's done. It does get pretty dry here in CO.

Tobramycin drops seem to be doing the trick for the eyes. Vet did also note some mild wheezing on Violet, so we're doing some bactrim to try to head that off if it's the start of a URI. No improvement there yet (I can hear it when the pigs get their nightly lettuce, she seems to start hooting while eating fresh veg- but not while eating pellets or hay). My gut says that the wheezing is age related and not due to infection but it will be good to do antibiotics anyway just in case and see if it improves.

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Lynx
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Post   » Fri Apr 01, 2022 7:29 am


I don't know if nebulizing would be a good move for her but it is also one of the tools used for respiratory issues, assuming that is what this is.

Glad to hear the Tobramycin is helping her eyes. p.s. if you have any eye pics you'd like to add to your topic for future readers, I'd be happy to put them up.
Image

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:27 am


Violet still hoots/wheezes when she eats. It happens more often now. I figured it was just a sign of her age (not quite 7 1/2 years now) but last night I noticed she was having some trouble eating an oxbow vitamin C tablet, and today I thought to check her teeth and her top right incisor is cracked lengthwise right down the middle. The crack appears to extend all the way down into the gums. The cracked tooth is maybe 1 or 2 mm longer than the undamaged tooth. I can upload a photo in a bit. Bottom incisors appear unaffected for now. She has not lost any weight yet.

This is the first time I've dealt with dental issues in my pigs- I'll definitely shoot the vet an email but any opinions/advice are welcome.

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Lynx
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Post   » Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:11 am


From your description, this will hopefully not be a major issue, like dental molar problems often are. I wonder if it could be ground down to be shorter than the good tooth, letting it take its own course on regrowth, with likely loss of one or both halves. I would watch for signs of inflammation or pain.

For readers of your topic:
http://www.guinealynx.info/teeth_broken.html

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Zaphy

Post   » Wed Aug 24, 2022 4:06 pm


Just as an update, about a month after my last post Violet passed away. Her tooth never appeared to regrow (it remained cracked) so I wonder if there was some internal reason for that. A couple weeks after the post I trimmed the long portion back as she was really struggling to eat, which seemed to help for a bit. A couple weeks after that it had grown long again (still cracked up past the gum line) and I trimmed it, but she was starting to slow down and didn't look too good otherwise despite me increasing her pain meds. I brought her in and they agreed that she was not in good shape plus was cold, so I made the decision to have her euthanized then. I went out and got her one last watermelon and some more treats, which she snacked on until she didn't want any more, then we did it. I am fortunate to have a vet that's able to place an IV catheter in the pigs so that I can be there holding them as they pass.

Still waiting on the results of the necropsy. I'll update here if there's any unusual/noteworthy findings.

All in all she had a pretty good run, all things considered :)

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Sef
I dissent.

Post   » Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:07 pm


Aw, I'm sorry, Zaphy. You took such good care of her and gave her a wonderful home. :)

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Lynx
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Post   » Wed Aug 24, 2022 11:13 pm


I am sorry to hear about Violet. You were lucky to have each other for so many years.

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ItsaZoo
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Post   » Thu Aug 25, 2022 12:17 am


My condolences, Zaphy. Violet had a wonderful home with you. Take care of yourself.

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Zaphy

Post   » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:16 am


Thank you all. She wouldn't have had such a good run if it weren't for all of you and your words of wisdom and experience. I'm so grateful for these forums and for you who frequent them and offer up so much help.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Thu Aug 25, 2022 10:11 pm


I'm very sorry to hear about Violet. She lived a longer than average life and that should be a tribute to both you and her. From what I've read about her in your thread, she couldn't have received better care than what you gave her. May she forever rest in sweet peace.

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