Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pork Work

Sometimes, pot-bellied pigs need their hooves or tusks trimmed.  Like most other sane people I prefer not to work on pigs of any variety.  When I was in school I used to just drop them off in the food animal area of the teaching hospital, apologize to whichever students were on that rotation and then leave for an hour.  Worked out great...for me.

Then, of course, I graduated and was on my own.  Fortunately Touchdown is a female (who don't grow much in the way of tusks) and male tusks don't grow as much as they age so I never had to anything with Spadias before he died a few years ago.  Then along came young Jimmy Dean.

JD had one tusk (don't ask my why just one) growing out that needed trimmed.  I have been trying to ignore this for a number of months but it had reached the point of almost curling back around into his face so the time had finally come to do some pork work.

Now, pigs do not like to be stuck with needles.  Also, pigs have very tough, thick skin.  So there is no quick stick before they know what is happening.  Pig must either be trapped somewhere or manhandled.  We did not have a place to trap him so we went with manhandle.  Jerry held him up while I harpooned him with my cocktail of drugs.  Then we waited.  And waited.

There were a lot of suggested drug doses for sedating pigs so I just picked one based on the drugs I had available to me.  Also I used an estimated weight.  Either the weight was too low or the dosage I chose was too low because JD never went all the way out. He remained in that haphazard state between awake and asleep where everything makes them freak out and yet they are unable to actually  freak out very effectively. He was drunk enough to be able to be held down but awake enough to scream and kick.  Nonetheless we were successfully able to trim the tusk and the feet.  I suggested Jerry drill a hole in the tusk and make a necklace.  He said he doesn't really wear necklaces.
Then, because it's not recommended to leave a heavily sedated animal out in the cold to sleep it off we drug him on a tarp to the garage.  I'm not sure how he felt about this trip but we did it anyway.  However, he really didn't want to just rest and kept staggering around the garage.  Since he wouldn't stay still Jerry decided to take him back out the yard-this time he just carried him...with minimal screaming (by the pig that is, not Jerry).   He (again the pig, not Jerry) spent the next few hours staggering around but otherwise recovered uneventfully.

Hopefully that is the last of my pork work for a few years.  But doesn't he look better now without a snaggletooth growing into his face?

1 comment:

Karissa said...

Awww, JD is one cute porker. He looks happy now!