Did you know that a pig could get pneumonia? We sure didn't! And so how did we find out?? Well...about a week ago, Mr. Timothy Bacon (who LOVES to eat) had NO interest at ALL in his beloved pig food. And so...when you are raising a pig as we are, to eventually help to fill our freezer, a pig who doesn't want to eat his food is NOT good!
So we went online, and saw that pigs can be prone to pneumonia especially when the temperatures plummet low. The temps have certainly done that the last few weeks, especially at night.
What are the symptoms of swine pneumonia? Well...good question...lack of appetite, shaky legs, fever, coughing, shivering, drooling. Yup...he had all of those. So....we called our vet...who we LOVE. He comes right to our home and deals with all manner of livestock. When we called him he told us he couldn't come until the next day, and he wanted us to give the pig some hot water to drink along with corn syrup, which we had on hand, thank goodness. Then we needed to put some warm bedding, like a bale of hay into Mr. Bacon's house to help him keep his body heat up. Oh man...did he LOVE it when we added the hay!
The next day the vet came, and proceeded to take Tim's temperature. We had just prayed for safety for the vet that morning, because online it said that taking a pigs temp could be hazardous and the person doing it could get really hurt because it makes the pigs really mad!! Anyway...we pictured all sorts of terrible things with this, and then the vet just leans over, feels Tim's ears and says..."Hey...pigs ears are usually very cold, and his are quite warm, he has a fever!"...Phew...that was a MUCH simpler and less dangerous method than we had read about, yeah!! Then he asked Elisha to distract Tim and he went over and gave him a quick shot in the hind end. Shot number 1 of an antibiotic. He's come 3 days in a row now, and Tim is MUCH better! So now we have to wait 30 days and we'll see how much he weighs and it may be time for him to head to the freezer.
So.....this was a VERY good homeschool animal science lesson! Hands on, and right in our yard! Yeah!!