The Armadillo

Our rescue pot belly pig Wai is being affectionately called The Armadillo. He honestly looks like he is wearing an armoured jacket.

Today I am giving you pictures of yesterdays storm in between the pictures of Wai the Armadillo pig . We have to get used to him.

Early yesterday morning I let him outside for a short while so he could walk about in the weak early morning sun.  He had not eaten or drunk all night nor peed or pooed. Not good. Walking out the door he was instantly happier. He ate weeds and grass and rooted about, but slowly – like an aged prisoner – and walked the perimeter of the field a few times. He performed all the necessary toilets, then as the sun got stronger we herded him, protesting, back into his house and shut the door for the day. He has a big window with light  but can have no direct sun on this skin for the meantime.  

He does not like to go to the toilet inside so he lay in his bed for the whole day and waited. Furious with me. He growls and backs into a corner when he sees me coming with my lotions. But it was way too sunny for him.  Lucky for him a storm came in in the late afternoon so I moved him out then.

Now that Rosy and I have trimmed the extraneous dried up skin that was curling up and sticking out – it is thick and hard like tough cardboard and must be so terribly uncomfortable – he moves about a little more freely.  In fact the skin that is left is so hard you can knock on it. It is like a hard hat. Much of it is not even fully attached to the skin. But I have had it covered in bag balm all day and more cracks are appearing.  Most importantly the hard skin around his jaws and jowls is peeling off – this may have something to do with his lack of eating.

His eyes are still mostly closed though his eyelashes are curling back out now.  I am afraid to trim so close to the eye so we will wait a few days on this area. 

BooBoo likes him, and Wai the Armadillo pig likes Boo more than he likes me that’s for sure.

The storm as it hits the trees – you can see here the Elm  in the center of the drive- shortened and trimmed by last weeks storm. 

The Armadillo snorts into one of his food bowls – evidently boiled eggs are not to his liking either. But he has very handsome minders.

Today will be more of the same.

Though, I still don’t understand what caused his skin to harden like crackling then fall off. It is not soft like sloughing skin – it is hard as a helmet – hard to cut even. For rat poison to do this much damage to the skin but not the internal organs sounds weird to me. This is not little bits,  this is the skin on his whole body going hard, cracking, then peeling off in huge lumps.

He has been going from place to place in cages for a couple of months since being found – a number of vets and university vets, and rescues,  I am so glad that he can finally get out into a field – even if he is going to be nocturnal for a while. At lease he can begin to walk some of that weight off.

Anyway – it is wonderful to have Rosy here for this week. She is a marvelous worker  a great assistant when we are dealing with the growling pig,  and in the evenings we are having such fun on the kitchen, she is an excellent cook. Her family comes from Lebanon so she is teaching me some amazing  dishes.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

Weather Forecast: A perfect day – if you have skin.

Wednesday 06/21 10% / 0 in
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High near 85F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night 06/21 20% / 0 in
A few clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 71F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

42 Comments on “The Armadillo

    • I hope so. Now that he is locked back in the barn I have opened both his doors making his sleeping area a corridor that we will walk through frequently with just a hullo! and no interference. This was he will get used to people again. he can also cruise the barn if he wants to meet the others through the gates. He is still very growly.. c

      • I’m not surprised he’s growly, but I’m sure kindness will prevail. Perhaps when you discover his favourite food…

  1. Rub his belly if you can, he’ll love you 🙂 Rat poison? I thought that was usually a blood thinner, weird.

  2. What a huge job to get Wai in a natural healthy state !! He will come to appreciate you in time, I am sure.

  3. Progress can be seen already. Glad that some eating etc is underway!
    Your storms have a way of looking particularly threatening. And, it seems, they deliver on their threats!

  4. these pictures  show even more just how his skin is pealing in great lumps…it must feel really bad ..poor old boy.  I suppose if he has been to vets and other places and nothing has been helped , it sounds as though this might be the last resort…..and that is why YOU will succeed where others have failed. It is good to know that nanny Boo is on the case…all will be well  

    Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 1:35 PM

  5. Having kept pigs in the past I’m certainly interested in this rescue. I’ve never seen anything this bad before and at first I thought he’d been caught in a fire. Perhaps though it’s this:
    “Zinc deficiency causes a skin condition in pigs called parakeratosis. Symptoms include slow growth in young pigs, raised, red patches on legs and stomach that then crust over and spread over the pigs body. These scabs can crack open and result in secondary skin infections.

    Pigs grown indoors are prone to the disease as pigs often obtain zinc from soil. Calcium and soybeans in the pig’s diet inhibit zinc absorption. Monitor pigs’ nutrition and mineral consumption, or monitor with liver zinc and serum testing, to prevent parakeratosis.”

    I’m thinking if you can get a heavy zinc sunscreen, like sailers use, that might help.

    • I was thinking the same thing as you Bakerpete…some deficiency. I have stomach issues myself and have a lot of deficiencies.

  6. forgot to say..welcome Rosy…..xxxx  

    Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 1:35 PM

  7. Wai is probably so happy to get to go outside and root around. He will love you in time. You are still a stranger and the poor thing has learned not to trust too easily, it can get you hurt. God knows he he had that. He will grow to trust you once he realizes you are the one who is nice to him and making him feel better. His canine guardians are so sweet. He has a wonderful boo nanny to watch out for him now.
    Welcome Rosy I am glad you are there to help Miss C out, especially at this time.

  8. Poor old boy, what a burden to carry around. It must be heavy and hot, like wearing a coat of armour. What a pleasure it will be to him to be able to move freely once those big plates of hard skin have sloughed off. I wonder if he growls at your approach because he’s been mistreated by his former owner, and he can’t see who’s coming yet. Once he sees you and learns to associate you with good things, I’m sure he’ll change his mind!

  9. Poor fellow Wai is. I would suspect if you’re the one to bring his food to him each time that he’ll soon get to like you much better and quit the growling. He was first badly neglected and then only other humans he’s known of late have poked and prodded him in his illness and on what I bet is very painful skin, so not surprising he’s not fond of you at this point. It’s wonderful he can find a friend in Boo and feel the fresh air on his new skin, even if it only for brief times early and late in the day.
    And, yes, welcome to Rosy! Hope you have a grand and fulfilling time on the farmy. And you, Miss C., a great day to you. ~ Mame 🙂

  10. It is inconceivable to me that someone did this to a poor animal, I just cannot understand it. You are taking such good care of him, in time, he will understand and love you for it. We are rooting for him!

  11. I can see the Armadillo association, I think he looks like a baby Hippo 🙂 Did you know more people are killed in Africa by Hippo than any other wild animal?

    Celi, I am going to go out on a limb here and ask if perhaps the person that mistreated him like this, wasn’t blonde or wore a hat while mistreating/treating him initially and he now has this association with pain. Perhaps you could try wearing/not wearing hat, and for a little while just approach him with treats and without creams/sprays that may be burning him still. Has anybody been able to examine his tongue and palate, if these are burnt that maybe why certain foods burn causing lack of desire to eat? He might eat a raw egg without the shell for instance. If he is keen to eat weeds and grass, will he eat these if they have been picked and piled on floor or dish? Again if his lips/mouth/jowls are painful, would he not be more comfortable eating off the ground or larger flat plate/dish. Has he seen met the other pigs yet? Perhaps if he could see them tucking into whatever you bring in will convince him he will be safe? Is he not eating because he can’t actually see the food and his sense of smell may be damaged too? Although you say he growls when you approach, we can assume that he has partial ability in these areas.

    I know, so many questions which will probably only be answered after a long slow healing. I wish you both all the luck in the world. I am so pleased that Rosy is there to help you even if only for a few days more.

  12. That poor pig has come to believe all people are cruel and mean to him. I do believe, with time, he will start to understand you are a friend. And one to trust. He seems no different that a severely damaged child who has finally come to a haven. Good for you, Miss C.

  13. One of my brothers had a similar incident occur when we were children. He had a terrible reaction to antibiotics that left his skin hard and cracked. Then he developed large blisters under the cracked skin but skin underneath was pink and healthy when it finally peeled away. Amazingly, he had no scarring or lasting effects. (I haven’t thought of that event for a very long time.) Hopefully your sweet armadillo will have the same experience.
    Have a lovely day, Ms. C.

  14. I’m so happy to hear that Wai is enjoying his salad! And reading through these comments, I’m letting my mind believe there was some kind of vitamin/mineral deficiency that caused this. Much better reason than the crazed thoughts of abuse that were flying through my mind yesterday. Although the results aren’t much better. :/ I love how your pups seem to accept and care for your critters. Amazing!

  15. Wow – sounds like good progress already, the toileting outside and the fact that he ate grasses, etc. while he was out there. It feels hopeful. Your plans sound really good. The zinc deficiency comment above sounds really intriguing. I look forward to seeing his eyes with those long lashes! This is amazing work.

  16. Good morning, I’ve been doing my own sleuthing because I cannot stop thinking of your poor boy and his skin.
    I was first thinking of what some others have mentioned—an allergic reaction to a medication. I also stumbled upon this article regarding a reaction to a staph infection.
    It may be that your boy doesn’t have a clue about foods other than chow. Mizuri makes a very good, balanced PBP chow. I say this because my neighbor’s PBP took forever to accept treats like carrots and apples, and he was raised in a loving home.

  17. I think we are all pulling for this poor pig. For you, Cecilia–it isn’t easy ministering to a growling, smelly, diarrhea-suffering pig…and for Rosy. She walked into a baptism of fire. Hats off to you both.
    Would Wai like some music (to soothe the savage beast)? It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve provided symphonic pleasure to your critters.

  18. My first thought was “that looks like a chemical burn” (we recently had a rescue dog that looked like that, although just down his back). Or various vitamin deficiencies or excesses or autoimmune reactions or, or, or… Really the important thing is he’s improving and the skin looks good under the escher (hard bits on top). It’s amazing how much animals can heal with good nutrition and exercise!

  19. Poor boy, I’m sure with your ministrations he will soon be on the mend, and as you said he has two very handsome minders. Hi Rosie!

  20. Whatever the future holds for this pig, he has landed in the right place. Would love to know what Boo and Ton are thinking in that photo. And what storm clouds!! Coming my way probably.

  21. I am worried that the skin thing is another type of abuse vs the rat poison. Poor guy! Arm-Wei for short – he sounds FRENCH now…. I knew Boo would take to him! Boo is a very caring pup and knows when someone needs tending.

  22. So many of us pulling for wee Wai, and with you as his friend and carer he has the best chance in the world. Storm photos are beautiful!

  23. This took weeks to develop and it will take weeks to be made as ‘normal’ as possible. The difference in one day is amazing. Celi – he is nibbling at the greenery – he has not forgotten piggy behaviour !! He is peeing and pooing, so those reflexes are also there. He has been horrendously mistreated and it will take awhile for him to believe in those two-leggeds. Glad both Ton and Boo ‘on duty’!! Four legs: trusted first !!!

  24. J > May you live in interesting times – it’s supposed to be an old Chinese curse. Well yours certainly are interesting right now, Celi, but I see only good, even if it’s not easy.

  25. Aren’t we all “growly” when we have been through some tough experiences? Wai’s skin looks like the results of chemical burn of some kind. The best news though, is that his plumbing is working and he has a desire to be outside nibbling and roaming a bit. The body is resilient, as is the mind. He will come around when his trust in humans is better. I think your beautiful songbird voice and both you and Rosy putting gentle hands on Wai will bring him around. This reminds me when I worked in the banking industry, we had a customer who was gruff and negative and sometimes very harsh with his words. My co-worker and I generally slumped and delclared “Oh, no” when we saw him approach the front door. We always took turns waiting on him, knowing the verbal exchanges with him would be trying. Finally, after several months of his abuse, he left my teller window one morning, then turned back to look at me and my co-worker and said nicely and in gentle tones, “By the way, my friends call me “Hoop”. You can call me Hoop.” From that day on he was kinder and we got to know a very wonderful man. Who knows what is under that armadillo skin? Sometimes we find the best friend ever.

  26. Pingback: I Love a Rainy Day | bridgesburning

  27. Dear Celi, I used one of your photos from this post and tagged you and mentioned you and the farmy in the post. I think you should just have a section called Celi’s Skies. Too beautiful for words, but alas words is all I have. xo Chris

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