All in Her Head

A very lovely vet (the young new vet from another local town) came to visit the farm yesterday  and examined Lurch. He looked at all the other piglets and the environment they are raised in, big pigs and little pigs and after giving Lurch a thorough examination he agreed that the problem is neurological. There is nothing physically wrong with the piglet at all other than a smack in the head which knocked her brain about.  Her hips and legs and back are in working order she just does not know how to make them all work together.

ABut he said that there is a chance – a slim one – that she can get her balance back. There is no telling. He has told me to give her another week. She was given anti-inflammatories to bring down what might be swelling inside her brain and antibiotics of course and I will continue with her intensive piggy physio. He particularly liked the maze.  She is eating like crazy and putting on weight so he thinks there is a chance. But it is a tiny chance.

So she and I have walked and walked every spare minute yesterday afternoon. I hold her up and she uses her legs to propel herself forward. She falls within moments of me letting go but I am not letting up.

If there is no improvement in a week then we will have to make a decision but for the moment it is full steam ahead. chicks

One of the old chooks has hatched some eggs – in the garage, which is perfect as I can shut the door on her and none of the cats or dogs or other birds can bother her. Bonus.

For the record there is no scientific evidence that a sow can decide her piglets are damaged in those few seconds after birth and then proceed to mercy kill them.  I think they get a fright from a screeching piglet up by their heads while they are in the middle of labour and all that pain and confusion so they silence the piglet, and that sets the sow off and it gets worse from there. He suggested that in future  to collect each baby as she is born, dry her off and place her in a box out of the way until the farrowing is all over, then when everything is quiet (and the mother has had her beer) and the pain is over to gently bring them all out to feed. So, in future I will do this.

peahen wings

We had a good talk – a farm visit is expensive but worth it. I will definitely be running a T shirt campaign soon!

I hope you have a lovely day – lots of work ahead of us today.

Love celi


38 Comments on “All in Her Head

  1. You’ve been in my head since morning today – the more I read you, the more I yearn for your kind of life. How blessed you are…

  2. Dear Miss Determination….you exceed any expectations and run more than the extra mile….I hope your Lurchy piglet pulls through and become the pride of the Farmy…. You are one fantastic woman and it is a pleasure and an honour to know you..even if it is cyberspace  

    Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 2:23 PM

  3. Some friends of mine took on a Siamese kitten which had had an accident in its first week after birth. They think it fell off something and damaged it’s neck – its balance was bad and it fell over all the time. However, while always having a twisted neck, it did rediscover its balance and lived the life of a fairly normal cat. So fingers crossed that the antibiotics help and Lurch’s brain starts to walk 🙂

  4. A good vet is worth his/her weight in gold. I hope that the meds will help little Lurch heal. She has been such a little fighter, I hope she can make it through.

  5. Sounds like your new vet could become very helpful, unlike so many who are only interested in domestic pets. If Lurch is eating well and growing, and you have the patience to give her a bit longer, I really hope she rewards your faith in her. Fingers crossed…

  6. So, this might be waaaay off but I suffered from Benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo (BPPV) (can be caused by a blow to the head) for 6 months when eventually I went to my physician and she sent me to a PT. The physical therapist did the most unusual type of head movement on me called Canalith Repositioning. One treatment alone put those ear stones 🙂 back in place and the vertigo was gone! Might be worth a try to add this repositioning to your PT for this little one…. Thank you for having such a kind heart and all my best to Baby Lurch!! More information:

  7. PPT – Piggy Physical Therapy….. So based on what you have learned – is Tahiti staying or still going? Just curious. I can understand if she is going. It was a nightmarish night I am sure. The last photo, is that a peahen? Such a beautiful bird as is the mother hen.

  8. Your vet sounds like the perfect bet for your farm and I am hoping that Lurch can pull through with flying colors. Poor thing. Cheering you and Lurch on !

  9. I’m glad you waited for the new vet and that you turned out to be right after all. Give her a pat for me. Wish I was still there to take some of that for you.

  10. All the best for Miss Lurch. I am, as usual remaining optimistic. We recently rescued a cat in Milan that had fallen from the roof to the street (5 storeys), and it appears after months of hope and therapy the cat IS going to make it. No broken bones, just damage to nerves and head that take lots of time to heal. I am a believer in Time, as long as the wait is humane and sustainable for all involved. We will see, won’t we?

  11. Well brains are plastic, so I hope hers figures out where to re-route and get the balance and standing up things figured out.

    That last picture! It looks like someone took apart a bird and put it in a pile on your porch! 🙂

  12. I hope she makes it! I have a new dog at home and the mother tried to kill her when she was born, the scar is still very visible. At those moments their instincts are very high so I guess you are right and there’s no evil intentions just pure fright for the pain and noise. Congrats for the newborns 😊

  13. I’m still keeping my hooves crossed for little Lurch. I know it’s a long shot but if he has spunk for life, he will be a fighter for sure. He’s got the best care already – YOU. Sending piggy prayers his way. XOXO – Bacon

  14. I have been lurking about this blog for some time now and greatly admire your lifestyle. I seldom comment on any blogs, but have to share with you today. I live in Ontario, Canada and grew up on a mixed farm and have now begun to embrace my farming roots as I mature. At a solid “forty-something”, my friend and neighbour decided to begin raising and selling weaner pigs. We raise the wearers on pasture and in scrubby forested areas on my farmland and sell the pigs as halves and wholes or boxed meats. We have had such a great time doing this that we decided on a whim to keep a couple of girls one year and raise our own piglets by artificially inseminating the gilts. It’s been a lot of trial and error and just when we feel like we have things figured out, a pig surprises us. We had to have a vet out for a delivery this spring and even with the whopping bill, we were able to acknowledge that we learned so much from the vet that it was like a compressed farrowing course at college. A wise farmer told us that “education is expensive, whether you go to school for it, or learn as you go”. Keep doing what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! I am so curious to see how Lurch will progress, pigs certainly are hardy and resilient once they make it past the first few days.

  15. Your care and dedication to all on your farm amaze me, especially with little Lurch right now. I hope she fares well. Sometimes, new eyes, in this case the new vet, are just what is needed. As you say – full steam ahead.

  16. We are cautiously optimistic, as they say. Rooting for both you and Lurch 🙂 Laura

  17. I love Lurch. I was wondering if she wore a little sling, with a handle on top, like a suitcase, then she could be half carried when bigger until she figures this out. Even us humans with brain injuries can learn to walk again ; )

  18. I’m hoping reducing her inflammation will do the trick for little Lurch.

  19. ” She falls within moments of me letting go but I am not letting up.” – start of a novel …or Tshirt …definitley a portrait of Ci.
    I bet the vet was amazed at the mmaze. (This place is not your average Farmy or farmer). He seems to have some sound advice as well as old farm sttyle willingness to let things we don’t understand work as they will. (Squealing does tend to disturb any mom after a bit)

  20. I am so pleased at the results of the vet’s examination of Lurchy. Know that this little piggie has the hearts of all the Fellowship in our hands. Much love to you and thanks for your dedication, Your Gayle

  21. Hoping for a great recovery. Caught the comment last week that Difficult was going to be sold and thought back to how hard you and Difficult fought. These are some lucky animals to have you.

  22. Seems you have struck lucky with that new vet, at least you know there is nothing wrong with Lurch’s body, so you can now concentrate to get her brain working properly to regain her balance – we are all behind you. She’s a fighter (like you) and a tiny chance is still a chance Miss C.
    Is that the old chook in that last photo? Can’t quite make it out.

  23. Knowing when to “phone a friend” or in this case call in a vet for advice is part of that collective wisdom available for all to tap into. Wise people know they can’t do it all themselves 💡

  24. Two days total outage here . . . as we are not highly populated it did take a few hissy fits to be reconnected: SO, reading now, hoping that ‘not giving up’ will prevail 🙂 !! Let’s face it – BOTH of you want a positive outcome!!!!

  25. With all of these positive thoughts I feel great about all that is being done both at home and around the world for Lurch. I think there have been many times with Daisy deer’s injuries that I was thankful and comforted by readers who cared. Positive things happen in numbers. I love so much how you stay focused on the moment… the day at hand. Worrying and wondering about the week to come does no good. “Full steam ahead” as you say! I LOVE the old hen with chicks photo. I can’t tell you the times I’ve been attacked by a defensive mother hen, and that “look” (like she is keeping a close eye on you) always preceded the attack! Watch out for a protective mother!

  26. Did your vet recommend vaccinating with Farrowsure Gold B prior to breeding? There area myriad of viruses pigs are susceptible to during pregnancy and the Farrowsure covers almost everything. Another hint that most pig farmers swear by, especially for first time farrowers is a beer or two. For the pig, then later a few for you. Often, as you mentioned, the screaming of newborns is too confusing and scary for the young gilts and causes them to kill the young. A beer or two just as she is delivering, or right after she finishes takes the edge off, lets her basically doze off and when she awakens the piglets have already nursed and have calmed down themselves. Just a few wee bits of knowledge. I’m always trying to glean what I can from those who’ve been at it longer.

  27. Pingback: Why the wild sticks | Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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