Bump in the Road
by Scott Smith
We have a sick pig. I think I called at least 15 veterinarians before I found one who was willing to help me with more than more phone numbers to try. He didn’t want to drive all the way down here and I can’t say as I blame him (he’s at least 30 miles away), but he diagnosed erysipelas (rhymes with “Air of syphillis”) over the phone and told me what to do. I gave my first shot today. There were about 30 seconds where I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to do it, but I surprised myself and managed it while Scott restrained the pig (the thought of having to restrain the pig, as listless as he is, while Scott gave the shot was a motivating factor). Next time I won’t be so dainty about trying to get the needle into the pig. That is some tough hide.
The vet recommended harvesting the other three pigs right away but I don’t think we’re going to be able to get anyone out here that fast on short notice. He also said that the sick pig (if he recovers) can be harvested 10 days after the last dose of penicillin, but the processor recommended 30 days, so we’ll err on the side of caution and wait a month.
Apparently pigs give up just like people do sometimes and just turn their face to the wall (a phrase that has always fascinated me) so we’ll see if he stays interested in life long enough to get better.