Now that we have pigs, I'm all kinds of worried that the things will begin coughing or sneezing. Ironically, it has nothing to do with H1N1 Swiney Flu. Well, I guess it does sort of. The swine flu hype has me thinking about sick pigs, which reminded me that the first year we were pig owners, one suddenly died. Suddenly as in within minutes.

I realize that the thing must have been sick longer than a few minutes because the vet did an autopsy on site (sooo cool - I seriously should have been a vet) and we learned that pneumonia was the killer. I also learned that if you toss a lung in a bucket of water and a part of it sinks, it has fluid in it. Of course, this only works on dead things so by then the diagnosis certainly isn't life altering.

Our only heads' up was the fact that the pig wouldn't eat, and if a pig isn't eating there's something seriously wrong with it. Like it's about to die in a few minutes. The kids said that it was a wee bit coughy in the morning but who panics over a tiny cough?

Okay, I do now. I remind the kids daily to check the pigs for heavy breathing, coughing or sneezing. I worry that one will die again. And I have the swine flu to thank for making that first and foremost in my mind.

So far the wee porkers are healthy, and eating like pigs. It's a good sign.

I wish I could say the same for the puppies. You thought the kennel chaos was over, didn't you? Well, the joke is on you because apparently as long as we have puppies we'll have problems.

I noticed last week that the puppies had a bit of bloody stool, but as I'd just dewormed them I figured it was a result of that. I gave it a day or two to clear up, but it didn't. So I did what any dog owner would do in my situation and took a Ziploc baggie of infected poo to the vet for a fecal floation.

We have giardia. Aren't we the lucky ones.

This is easily (if not expensively) fixed by dosing once daily for 7 days with a paste wormer heretofore used for horses. The good news is that we can use the leftovers on the ponies because they're due to be wormed again this month. The bad news is that we're clueless where the stupid parasite could have come from.

Giardia is generally contracted from contaminated drinking water and a lot of people bring it home as a souvenir when they visit a third world country. We have a well, and I can attest that it's not contaminated because not only would the puppies be having problems, but the adult dogs, the horses and the people would have the trots like nobody's business, along with vomiting and severe weight loss. While the weight loss would be nice to partake of, none of that stuff is going on.

It's always something, isn't it?

I'll not only be dosing every dog we own for the next week, I'll also be disinfecting everything the dogs touch with bleach. Now would be a good time to take out stock in Clorox.

Have I mentioned that this is one of those rare maladies that happily transmits between species? Yeh, it is. Lucky us.


Leanne said...

You know what I like about coming here?

I never know what I'm going to read. :)

Stay healthy girl, we don't need weight loss that way.

Oh, and the puppy pic? Adorable.

Lovin Mama said...

My brother caught giardia in Mexico last year. His stomach still isn't right. Ugh.

Flea said...

Oh the puppy's so CUTE! I'm totally ignoring all the other gross stuff and focusing on the puppy.

BeautifulWreck said...

Ewww... cute puppy, interesting story about the deceased pig.

(quickly reminded why I can never have farm animals)

MoonNStarMommy said...

I can totally understand being concerned - and as a watchful pet owner, you do the right thing - so GOOD FOR YOU! I'm sure the puppies appreciate it greatly!!

mommaof4wife2r said...

hilarious that you love the autopsy! gross! anyway, poor piggy...but cute pups!

Blogget Jones said...

Soooo cool about the autopsy!! I can't get enough of that stuff.

Wonderful puppy pic :o)


Karen MEG said...

That puppy is so adorable!

This swine flu must just be wreaking havoc with you... I know our pig farmers are having such a tough, tough time getting people to understand that you can't get it from eating the meat.

Clorox, thanks for the stock tip :).

Andrea said...

So that is what the bag of poop was for! What a wonderful find!! UHG!! It makes you wonder........where.....who....what.....gross

I hope it all clears up soon. And I don't check in and you go and get yourself some pigs! How cool! I have wanted a pig for a while. We have a friend who's son shows pigs. I love it!! I would have freaked out if the pig died with in minutes. But yes, very cool that you got to see it's insides!!

Trannyhead said...

Uh oh ... Didn't you mention earlier that 3 humans were feeling sick in your house?

Dana said...

Aw, so sorry about the puppies.

I'd love to get a couple piggies, but I'm imposing some limits on the number of animals I purchase that I've never cared for just because we'll have the space. Chickens this year. Geese next year. Then hopefully goats. Maybe we'll work our way up to pigs if I haven't unintentionally killed or lost everything else by then.

imbeingheldhostage said...

eeeew giardia-- NOT FUN STUFF. I got it (we never figured out how) and was DEATHLY ill, then only relatively ill-- you know, functioning but wish I didn't have to. It was 6 months before I started feeling more like myself but my body never has fully recovered (getting pregnant 6 months after being infected didn't help). Get that water tested Karen, it would be horrible to see your family go through this.

I'm just a ray of sunshine spreading my cheer through your blog :-)

Michelle said...

I'm thinking that I'm either taking out stock in Clorox or in your vet's practice :)

And hey... at least it's not ringworm? That's another of my favorite ickies that is easily transferred. Fingers crossed it goes away soon!