Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Medicine Chest by SHepherds Green

Recommended pig care items to have on hand
Peroxide with a spray top. Very handy for cuts that he won't let you touch.
A water based antibiotic spray such as spectomycin and water. Ask your vet for the antibiotic and the solution strength. Great to have hanging on the fence and handy.
Antihistamine (like Benedryl or Zyrtec). As with any animal, breathing difficulties from allergies can occur. If he is unable to take a pill, mash a Benedryl in a little water to make a paste and smear it in his mouth. Use human dosage. There is a chewable Benedryl that tastes like grape soda for kids.. most pigs will take it.
Aspirin. If he gets a hurt leg or foot or other obvious painful condition aspirin can be used for a day or two . Longer use can be dangerous to the stomach. Never use any other human pain relievers like Ibuprophens. For long term problems like arthritis and other bone and joint problems see the section on Arthritis All PBP vets now recommend that if you use any kind of pain killer, steroidal or non steroidal, you should give a stomach acid reducer such as Prilosec or Ranitidine (both available over the counter) at the same time.
SMZ is the number one used antibiotic on the farm here. Easy to crush, easy to feed in any sandwich, its very effective for a wide range of ills. Tetracyclene and Amoxycillin are two other common antibiotics that are used frequently. Have them on hand and call your vet for dosages and recommendations at the first sign of infection. Another handy drug is Doxycyclene which is a once a day antibiotic which can make medicating a lot less complicated for a pig who hates taking pills.
All pills can be crushed and put into a pill sandwich with mayonnaise or ketchup or jam. You may have to get creative if he decides he doesn't want to take it and vary the sandwich content. Worst case, crush the pill or open the capsule and mix with a tiny amount of liquid, pull it up into a syringe (be sure to remove the needle!!) and just squirt it in his mouth. There are handy feeding syringes for this purpose (See link of the Essentials" page. )
Other sure fire ways to get him to take a pill:I have found most all my pill refusers will change their mind if I roll the pill in a nice big hunk of sugar cookie dough. Buy the refrigerator roll type and it keeps a long time. Other good taste teasers for the finicky medicine taker: Pumpkin pie mix, turkey stuffing mix, and gorgonzola cheese. Or >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Crush it and mix into eggnog or Gatorade Or >>>>>>>>>>>Break into tiny bits and put each bit into a canned peach halve or a fat jelly bean. Or >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Hide pill in hot dog bites ( there are vegetarian hot dogs available, but pigs are omnivores and eating meat does not harm them)
(Be sure that you NEVER give a pig any pork products. The risk of returning hog cholera to our country is very real today with so much pork coming from Mexico where it is rampant. Ingesting a tiny piece of ham from your plate or a left over slice of pepperoni pizza could bring back this disease that was eradicated 50 years ago. ). Any meats your pig eats should be fully cooked. Ham, pepperoni, salami, and many other pork products are not cooked.. just smoke cured..

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