Saturday, September 17, 2011

White pigs and skin cancer

I read something interesting and thought I would share it. It is from the Shepherd's Green Sanctuary newsletter and it talks about skin health in pigs.

It is talking about 2 of the pigs at the sanctuary...

" Mona and Sally Cream Cheese are 2 of some 30 white and silver pigs who have over the years gradually gotten more and more skin problems. A month of diagnostics and care at the University for Sally indicated no single approach was going to solve the problems. Each pig seemed a little different, but most were thin, had weeping sores and a generalized redness and "dirty" look.

The Cause.
The root cause is that white farm pigs get skin cancer and when introduced in 1989 into the pot bellied pig population as "Royal Whites", they brought their genetics with them. Because farm pigs are killed as juveniles in the meat industry, it doesn't matter, but now we have thousands of white and silver pigs of diminutive sizes in homes as well as a growing number of farm pigs as pets. When they get skin cancer or any of the other skin conditions, it matters!"

I was just saying in my last post about how hard it is to put sunscreen onto a pig covered in pig bristles. I have already started to notice the "generalized redness and dirty look" of Piper's skin. She's had many sores throughout the summer and has, at times, been very uncomfortable because of this problem. To me, this is just another consequence of irresponsible breeding to create more variety to make more money. There's really no way to help a white pig. You can try with the I do, at least getting the ears, but other than making a cover for the entire pig (which none of mine would even allow), they will be exposed to the sun most of the the time.

Definitely something to think about. As I have said before, vet care for serious problems in pigs is very difficult to find in this area.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another summer come and gone

Hard to believe it's that time of year once again. My pigs have decided that it is too cold in the mornings to go out early and they are screaming at the door to come in much earlier at night. It's almost time to bathe and deworm them, replace their carpet and buy new blankets. I buy them new ones every fall because they shred them so bad, but I figure they don't need big fluffy ones in the summer anyways. I could spend a fortune keeping them in fluffly blankets. (If anyone has any to donate...please let me know!)

It's been an eventful summer. Piper is getting along with her brothers now (mostly). I knew she would, it just took them being outside together to make it happen. I'm sure she got put in her place more than once while they were out there and Mom wasn't watching...but I'm happy for whatever fixed the problem. This winter won't be quite as bad as last winter...not having to keep them seperated. That wasn't fun. She's also over her drinking problem! ;o) I can keep water down for her at all times now and she only drinks when she's thirsty...which also means that she doesn't pee as much. I did also learn this summer that white pigs sunburn very easily and it's not easy to spread any type of sunscreen on pig bristles!!! She was a lot of work, but she has come a long way and I am so happy to see it. I wish people could stick it out and try harder instead of giving up so easily on their pigs. She's a good girl. Snotty at times...but a good girl.

MacGyver has come leaps and bounds too. He's often the only one in the house...he asks to come in during the day for a nap while the others are outside. He's comfortable with me and my girls, but still a little unsure of Scott. I think he's had some pretty bad experiences with men and may never get over that. He's become a real sweetheart and is the most "Shrek-like" of all my pigs when he loses all his hair! You just can't help but love the guy.

Tucker is doing ok. The medication we got has stopped working and we can't find another vet who has any ideas what to do for him. He is still fine, but his nose is running again. I feel awful that we can't find anyone to solve that problem for him. It's not as bad as it use to I guess that is a good thing. He's taken to sleeping on the floor in my bedroom during the day, instead of the living room where they all usually sleep. I have to remember to put some blankets down for him or he helps himself to the ones on my bed. :o)

Lukie and Tanner are Lukie and Tanner. Those two never change. Easy going, laid back, happy go lucky brothers. They have both put on a little too much weight over the summer from grazing and rooting all day every day, but they will slim down again over the winter. That can be a huge problem with pot bellied pigs (pardon the pun!), but I don't worry about the summer chubb. They work hard for it!

As for my has several more problem areas from a long summer of pig activities, but that is to be expected. It's just grass...or at least it use to be...ha ha.

Hope you all had a good summer, or at least enjoyed what little we had. I will hopefully be able to spend more time updating my blog now that it's over. I have been neglecting it a little lately.