I have told you about the van and the damage the dogs/squirrel did to it. If you recall, I found the destruction when I went out to the van in order to go to the store for some needles and syringes. I was pretty sure our pigs had pneumonia. I hear pneumonia is quite common in hogs. Seems we've just been "lucky" that we haven't had any die from it in past years.
Signs our pigs had pneumonia:
1. They haven't eaten their food for 2 days straight.
2. They haven't shown interest in water for one day.
3. They only got up when I made them get up.
4. They were having trouble breathing. It is not normal for me to see pig bellies moving in and out with each breath.
5. Some coughing was heard.
Signs our pigs didn't have the same thing as last year's herd:
1. No one had diarrhea. (Including me.)
2. There were no dead birds in their waterer.
Treatment of pig pneumonia includes giving shots of antibiotics into the neck of each pig. Fortunately, thanks to last year's herd, I know how to do that. Two of the pigs were sicker than the others, and I was afraid to wait until Bryan got home to give them the shots. The longer I waited, the better chance one of them would die. Since the pigs are only 35-50 pounds each, I decided not to wait and just do it on my own.
The hard way to administer a shot in each of 4 pig's necks:
Step 8: Repeat step 4.
Step 9: Decide that the other pigs are not in such dire need of their shots. Shaking and weak, head back to the house and collapse.
Two hours after this, on our way home from school, I told the kids that they were going to help me administer the shots to the other two pigs.
They were horrified until I told them they wouldn't have to actually give the shots.
Then they were simply terrified.
The easy way to administer a shot in a pig's neck:
Step 1: Gather 4 kid helpers.
Step 2: Explain to the helpers that there will be much noise and flailing and maybe some cursing. They shouldn't be afraid, as the pig is not getting hurt. I might be, but the pig won't be.
Step 3: Before the pigs can get out of the barn, get a gate in the doorway to keep them in there.
Step 4: Assign a job to each helper*.
Step 6: Administer the shot. Piece of cake when someone is helping to hold the pig steady and another is handing you the syringe.
Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6.
Step 8: Step back and listen to the helpers.
Turken: That was a lot of noise!
Buttercup: I never opened my eyes the whole time.
Cuckoo: (He had nothing to say, as he played the usual scaredy-cat and took off for the house before we even began gathering the pigs.)
Giant: If you weren't struggling so much, that would have been funny.
As of this posting, the pigs are doing much better. All 4 have been up and walking around on their own, and all 4 have been seen eating and drinking.
We really should be giving each of them another shot to make sure the bug is killed completely, but I am unable to do so, no matter how many helpers I have.
We'll save that story for Part 3 of our horribly awful, unbelievable day.
*I know some of you are wondering why I didn't assign one child to be the photographer. I would have had Turken do it, but with his broken collar bone, he's down to one arm. He can't take photos. Buttercup never opened her eyes, so she couldn't take photos. I needed all of the big boys to actually help, so no photographer.
Have a lovely day!