Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good News and Close Calls

Well, its been a hectic and emotional couple days dealing with Ruby and her complicated pregnancy, but there are very positive things happening. Like I mentioned earlier, we started her on a course of penicillin right after we got the stillborn baby out. We were very worried about infection considering there were two of us inside her, the barn is not a sanitary environment and she was so exhausted from it all that she would have a hard time fighting anything herself. We’ve also started giving her crushed up aspirin mixed with water and given to her via a syringe (sans needle) in the mouth. This has been helping and last night we noticed she was getting some of her energy back. 
We had also noticed that she hadn’t stopped contracting her muscles, as if she were still trying to push something out, and once she was feeling a bit better, these contractions became very strong. Dan had investigated her vaginal canal for any more babies and had found none, so we weren’t sure what was going on, but she was clearly trying to force something out. 
We had also decided to take her three surviving piglets into the house for the night, we made a nice home for them in a dog kennel with a heating pad and a nice layer of straw.  We got some milk substitute because we were worried that they weren’t getting enough food from their mother, considering her state. Let me tell you, bottle feeding a piglet can be both cute, when the latch and drink, or a nightmare when then don’t. All they do is squirm and scream and scream and scream. Who knew so much noise could come from a 20 ounce piglet? 
To add insult to injury, Ruby was so sick and so out of it yesterday that she couldn’t move and all she did was roll from one side to the other. A nearly fatal result of her inability to be aware of her offspring was that she would roll right on top of them. On two separate occasions she had just about killed one of the babies, luckily on both instances, Dan and I came in to find the baby, gave it mouth to snout and brought them back to the world. Never a dull moment here on the farm, that’s for sure.
This morning when I checked up on Ruby, I found three more stillborn babies and a much improved mother. She was breathing better, was able to get up a bit to drink water and had stopped contracting. She also rolled over for a belly rub and gave little grunts of pleasure, something she hadn’t done in almost forty-eight hours. We gave her another shot, which cause her to grunt angrily and sit up, both good signs, and tried to get her to eat, which she still won’t. The swelling of her vagina has also gone way down and when we returned her young, she seemed to be producing milk. I have high hopes for her and am in awe of how tough this pig is....

1 comment:

  1. I am absolutely delighted! Good young Ruby. Tough as old nails. People were similarly tough, not even three or four generations ago. But the average age was 50 or so....