Wag the Tail

Very basically skin consists of three layers. The epidermis (the top), the dermis (next layer) and the subcutaneous layer. I found a page for you to read about it if you have forgotton what you learnt in school.

When Wai came he could not wag his tail because it was encased in the brown hard sharp saddle leather that is his skin now.  Somehow and at some cost – he must have rubbed his rear hard on a wall or something – he managed to release his tail so he could wag it.  (now he has a hole going in below the upper layer of damaged skin, straight in under the dermis and exposing the subcutaneous tissue).  

And even though the poor fellow is all nerve endings and pulling and rubbing from hard outer skin curling like hangnails into his skin, and exposed insides, he still wags his tail when he sees his pumpkin. I don’t know how he is carrying on, unbelievable really. Hats off to this fellow.

This hole is why I cover him with a sheet when he lies down.  It is deep and also goes right up under that layer of armor. There are other areas where the sharp edges of the armor have worn through into the fat layers but this is by far the worst. I cannot cut this away yet as it is still attached to the dermis. Very attached. It will be a while. My tree hospital. On the far left is the damaged walnut bolted together and tied with ties and on the right the new oak, planted and soaked and being held up using T posts and an old hose.

Lots of water and tree talk. Poppy is a nice pig when she is not in heat.

I hope you have a lovely day.


I don’t know what the weather is for tomorrow. But today was sunny and still. Lovely.

41 Comments on “Wag the Tail

  1. Ah, poor boy, the need to wag that tail overrode the pain of freeing it. I think that bodes well; wagging his tail is surely a sign he’s feeling more contented and enjoying his food at least a bit. And slowly but surely that brown armour is shrinking; your patience is formidable.

  2. Poor but happy Wai. You’re likely just up, miss c, and extreme fatigue and insomnia have kept me from grabbing a single wink. Happy Sunday.

  3. I agree with other comments: Wai is doing so well and seems so much happier. Seeing the video on instagram of his tail wagging happily while he was eating grass and clover was wonderful! Hope the exposed areas don’t get infected.

  4. Your trek with Wai is just unbelievable. You are an angel.

  5. I feel so sorry for poor Wai..it is not his fault and yet he is the one who suffers. i think the person who allowed this to happen should be hung, drawn and quartered…such cruelty.

    But I also know that if he can survive to ever being a normal pig..it is with your dedication… 

    The weather in Bulgaria has been unbearably hot  ..42C  and at night 20C…the only benefit is a free sauna every five minutes


    lots of love Miss C


    Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2017 at 1:23 PM

  6. There has been so much positive change in the front half of Wai that seeing this rear portion is shocking. I just can’t get over how he looks as if he was literally roasted, but then all that new skin appearing under the armor plating looks so normal and healthy. You’re working miracles Miss C and Wai is one lucky pig 🙂

  7. Oh Cecilia! This is the saddest sight. I guess that every tailed creature finds it critical to express himself –and we tailless ones too–sometimes at great cost.

  8. Wai’s healing so much reminds me of my own shedding the plates of armor from wounds of the past. This journey of learning to trust, slowly shedding the ugly but protective layers, and feeling something comforting and nurturing in a safe environment, is way to heal without being too vulnerable. There is something of the inner spirit that finds hope in the small accomplishments, and it certainly helps to feel loving hands and hear loving voices to encourage and support. Oh, and for a pig, I think sighting and getting a whiff of that pumpkin is big on the comfort food and LOVE scale! Wai stands the best chances… because he has found someone to care. 🙂

  9. Poor little guy, to work so hard to show his appreciation; but this says so much about his determination and the lovely fellow on the inside.. (What was that you were just saying the other day? ; )

  10. Poor Wai! Fingers crossed the flies stay away. The maggots do eat dead tissue, but they move on to living tissue when they run out of the dead stuff. It is good to see his tail breaking free. I wish his former owners could be charged with animal cruelty.

      • The thought of maggots on a living creature is a horrible thing. *shudders* I used iodine on an ulcerated spot on my goat to ward off any flies. My mom used Iodine a lot when I was growing up for cuts although people don’t use it much these days, but it seemed to work on the goat for keeping the flies off.

  11. This is amazing!! He is looking so so good! Mama C to the rescue.

  12. Fantastic job with pig and tree. Both need ongoing positive thoughts. .It will take delicate navigating on this path to wellness and I’m glad you have a helper to take some pressure off.

  13. I agree with all of the sentiments above. The whole story is so miraculous. Now that wai is safe, do you know if the person who did this to him is in jail or at least did some time for this?

    • I know nothing else. The vet who sent him to the rescue people is unable to tell me anything because I am not on their list as the owner, there is a confidentiality thing, so I will probably never know anything. I think it was neglect rather than outright cruelty and this terrible skin problem he is wearing might well be from the meds they had him on to treat whatever the incident was .. an allergic reaction that literally burnt his skin? I don’t know. We will never know. c

      • Can’t you have him forward the records to your vet? Then you become the owner and privy to your pig’s records! 🙂 Just like they do in the people world.

        • If this was indeed a reaction to “medical intervention”, there will never be any mention for fear of legal repercussions/ liability.

  14. Some antibiotics make the skin hypersensitive to the sun. Keeping the fellowship realistic about his progress is a good thing, I guess. Two steps forward, one step back. I will keep good thoughts for Wai and his wagging tail, wounds and all.

  15. The will to survive is incredible, whether you’re a human or an animal. Especially if you have something to live for. And he does, he’s got you. And so do your trees. It’s like a wonderful care home at the Farmy full of love.

  16. Seeing the suffering that poor pig endured/s truly hurts the heart. I tried to find a link to an article I read but it’s apparently not on line. It was about a woman raising mangalitsa hogs. They are said to have wonderfully flavored meat and they are also used to clear invasive plants! They’re interesting looking too, maybe you need one!

  17. Heart-wrenching and heart-warming all in one confusing emotion. Your small in the big scheme of the things but significant gestures, rescuing pigs, saving trees makes my world a better place ♡

  18. It seems like an environmental chemical burn, in my humble opinion. Ironically, human burn victims are often treated with pig skin. Don’t see how the subcutaneous layer will ever regenerate skin, unless grafts are done. Poor Wai.

  19. Glad to see he looks forward to his pumpkin. That is too sweet. But seeing that hard armor of skin is really shocking, and to look at and try to comprehend what that poor pig has went through, well…..my heart still hurts for him. I do appreciate the updates…I wait eagerly for them, waiting to see any improvement. I hope to one day see those eyes and all that hard skin gone with only supple, clear skin all over.

  20. Yes, hats off to Wai, but also to you, Celi. I’ve learned enough about your inner strength not to be worried, but still. What you see everyday must be very draining. I trust you are adjusting to the role of carer, which means developing your own armor, or at least a willingness to keep emotions at bay and see nature as a partner and not an adversary.

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