Tucker has gone downhill again the last few weeks. My poor guy. His skin condition has gotten worse. We took some skin samples in to the vet and found out that he is loaded with demodex mites. I think he's had them for some time and I am a little more than angry that this is the first (of many) vets who caught it (we've done this before...many times). This is something that is common in dogs, but very rare in pigs. It may be a blessing in disguise though, because from what I have been reading...these mites can cause the acne problems that he has experienced all his life, because the feces from the mites and the dead mites get absorbed into the skin...causing what he seems to have. If that is the case...maybe we are on to something here! I sure hope so. Ivermec is what you use to treat them...and he is starting to feel better already after one dose, but that is the same stuff we use regularly to deworm all of our pigs...so I don't know why he has this problem to begin with. None of the other pigs do. We are still waiting on results from other samples that our vet sent away to the lab...so we will see what they say, but I am feeling very hopeful that after all these years, we might actually be on the right track. I even read somewhere that this can be a bird mite as well...and for the first 5 weeks of his life, he lived in an unventilated, filthy shed with many birds. Maybe that's why the other pigs are fine and he's not?
I just hope that this vet will see this through and not throw his hands in the air and give up on Tucker like all the others have done. I am very serious when I tell people that finding a good vet in this area who knows how or is willing to deal with a pot bellied pig beyond just the very basic medical care is VERY DIFFICULT, very expensive and more than a little frustrating.
Now, to diligently bleach and re-bleach every surface and every piece of bedding that he has ever touched. Anything to get my best guy healthy again! Today is the first day in 2 weeks that he hasn't gone out into the trees and spent the day there in a little nest that he made. It's been so cold and it's been breaking my heart to see him out there all alone and miserable.