Help the pigs

Winston extremely weak with pneumonia


Winston contracts pnuemonia

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Winter 2007

This has been a tragic winter with some of the pigs contracting pneumonia. While most of the pigs responded to treatments, twelve of the pigs died and a few were very close to death.

Many animals will seek help when they are sick and Winston sought me out, coming up to me while I was working in the pasture. I realized right away that he had pneumonia and immediately quarantined and started antibiotics. In spite of the treatment Winston quickly deteriorated to the point he could not keep his balance and would fall, unable to get back up.

I often worry that moving one as sick as Winston could be so stressful that it may overburden his immune system. It was too late in the day to move him so I spent the night in his hut watching over him as he laid in the hay, worried that if he went out and fell the cold winter night would be too much for him.

We moved him indoors the next day but he was so sick he would not drink water or eat. After two days he started by eating a few grapes, slowly hydrating himself. After 10 days I switched antibiotics and Winston finally began to respond, eventually building an appetite. Over the course of two weeks Winston recovered and is now living outdoors where I can closely observe him. I hope to move him back with the main herd later this spring once I am certain that he has fully recovered.

Spring 2008

Winston has returned to the herd. After weeks of living under observation in the yard it was apparent that he had fully recovered. One morning I found him standing by the gate to the pasture. When I opened the gate he immediately ran off to find his friends. He has come back to the gate a few times to visit his yard friends but he always returns to the gate in the afternoon to go back and sleep with his lifelong pals.

Winston recovering in the yard and is making up for lost time appetite wise, but still closely monitored.