When To Call The Vet


Many techniques used on humans and other animals are applicable to micro pigs. Consider en­rolling in classes for first aid and CPR given by the Red Cross and other organizations. You may wish to read First Aid for Your Dog, published by Barron’s Educational Series. Re­member, your first defense against permanent injury to or death of your micro pig is your ability to survey the situation and contact your vet­erinarian without wasting precious time. Often your veterinarian can give you advice over the telephone. The decision to self-treat or have a veterinarian intervene depends on each in­dividual situation: your location, the time of day, type and severity of the injury or trauma, and availability of your veterinarian.

If your micro pig is injured, remember that it could be very frightened and therefore dangerous. No matter how close your relationship has been, do not take it personally if your micro pig acts defensively or aggressively toward you or anyone else when it is hurt. Take precau­tions to protect both yourself and the micro pig. \V£&r long sleeves or a jacket, especially if you have a boar with tusks that have not been trimmed or removed. Leather or heavy garden gloves may help prevent injury from bites. But keep in mind that the strength of your grip on the micro pig may be different than with bare hands, depending on the glove material.

Should You Call Your Vetinarian Immediately?

The following first-aid procedures are not given as an alternative to veterinary care! These procedures should be attempted only when there is no veterinarian available, there is no accessible emergency clinic, and you are thor­oughly familiar with the procedures. An in­correct or delayed diagnosis can threaten the life of your micro pig!

What to Look For

First, check to see if your micro pig is breathing or is having difficulty breathing. This is where it helps to know the normal body rates of your micro pig. Temperature, respiration, and pulse of your animal can all help you decide what type of first aid it will need. Is it breathing faster? Slower? Irregularly? Is it panting or not breathing at all? Is its temperature more than one degree from its normal either way? Is it in shock or is it stable?

Attitude

If your micro pig is acting aggressively, cover it with a blanket. Only if absolutely necessary, because of vigorous attempts to bite or slash, muzzle it by looping a strip of cloth around its snout, tying under the chin, bringing the ends behind the ears, and knotting and tying a bow for quick release. Do not muzzle if the micro pig is having trouble breathing, is panting, or is choking. Muzzling is used only for injuries like bleeding and broken bones, and only when there is a great danger that you could be bitten. When a micro pig becomes stressed it will become frantic, respiration will be faster, and it may become severely overheated. MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT TO KEEP THE MICRO PIG CALM!

Airway problems

If your micro pig is having trouble breathing, check its mouth and throat for obvious obstructions. If the animal is still choking, it may have swal­lowed something that must be surgically re­moved. Remove any blood, vomitus, food, or saliva. Clean the micro pig’s nose. If the micro pig is not

breathing, you may need to apply artificial res­piration. The micro pig’s brain can only be without oxygen for about four minutes without sus­taining irreversible damage. Lay the micro pig on its side and try to pull the tongue forward, head and neck forward. Press and release with your hands over its ribs. Repeat approximately 10 times per minute.

If it is necessary to give mouth-to-nose re­suscitation, clean the nose and mouth, pull the tongue forward, and give about 10 breaths per minute. If the micro pig starts to breathe on its own, stop. If it tries to vomit or choke, raise its hind legs above the level of its head. Be cautious— you are right in striking range of the micro pig’s teeth and tusks! REMEMBER, A STRESSED MICRO PIG CAN BE DANGEROUS!

Shock

Shock can be caused by many things, in­cluding electrocution. This is a real life-threat­ening emergency. Every attempt should be made to get the micro pig to a veterinarian. The micro pig’s cardiovascular system is in sudden failure. Brain damage can occur. Indications of shock are fast, weak heartbeat; shallow, fast breath­ing; pale gums and tongue; low body temper­ature; unconsciousness; dilated pupils; and staring. (Open the mouth, press on the gums, and watch for a return to normal color. It should take less than two seconds.) On the way to the veterinarian, keep your micro pig warm, with the head lower than the rest of the body. Keep its mouth clear, and administer artificial respiration or mouth-to-nose respiration. Be aware that the effects of shock can be irre­versible and even fatal.

Bleeding

Bleeding should be treated by applying di­rect pressure to the wound with a soft gauze pad or compress. Keep pressure applied until bleeding stops. If the cut is superficial, clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide and apply pressure. If it is severe and you can apply a tourniquet, be sure to release it every few min­utes to relieve pressure. If your micro pig is vomiting blood, there may be internal injuries and you will need to get the animal to a vet right away.

Poisoning

This may be suggested by vomiting, weak­ness, bleeding, twitching, seizures, salivating, collapse, or staggering. Call your veterinarian, the local poison control center, or the animal center listed in the back of this book. Try to identify the source of the poison. Do not in­duce vomiting unless instructed to do so. If the ingested substance is caustic, your micro pig will be injured a second time as it regurgitates the substance. Vomiting should not be induced if the animal is convulsing, unconscious, or de­pressed. The vomitus could be aspirated into the lungs and cause further problems. If in­structed to induce vomiting, use full-strength hydrogen peroxide and a bulb syringe or large plastic syringe. You can also use ipecac syrup at the rate of one teaspoon per five pounds of body weight. Insert this on the side of the mouth, behind the canines and toward the back of the throat.

Take every precaution to avoid accidentally poisoning your micro pig. Your micro pig enters life nose first, and continues to use that approach for the remainder of its life. Nearly everything in the micro pig’s life will be tested with its nose and often with its mouth. Remember, a minuscule amount of many substances WILL KILL! So if you are aware of the risks, you will keep potentially toxic substances away from your family, your micro pigs, and other pets as well. For further information on this subject, write to the National Animal Poison Information Net­work Association.

A toxic substance can gain entry into your animal’s body in several ways, not just through ingestion. Poisons can enter your micro pig’s system by direct contact with the skin, eyes, or ears, or through inhalation. The body has many de­fense mechanisms that try to detoxify a system that has been invaded by a poisonous sub­stance. Even if the body is detoxified, major damage can happen to the organs (liver, kid­neys, lung, digestive tract, etc.) that helped detoxify it.

If you suspect poisoning, collect samples of urine, vomit, and feces in clean containers like Ziploc bags. Get your animal to a veterinary emergency center immediately. If you know what your micro pig has ingested, inhaled, etc., take that container with you if possible. Otherwise, take down what information you can from the label.

Do not induce vomiting or give any fluids unless you have been advised to do so by a competent professional. You may interfere with subsequent treatment, such as induced vomiting, purging the stomach by washing, adding absorbents to bind toxins, dilution, an­tidotes, etc. Keep the animal warm until you get to the veterinarian.

To treat your animal, you must prevent fur­ther exposure to and absorption of the toxic substance. Use appropriate antidotes, and provide therapy for the animal’s condition, which may include support of the cardiovas­cular, respiratory, and nervous systems.

Many chemicals, plants, and food items that are found in and around our homes are po­tentially harmful to your micro pig. Use good sense and make sure that your micro pig’s environment is “micro pig-proof.” There are many chemicals used today as additives in all types of products that are potentially dangerous to you or your an­imals. Out of sight is not out of mind! Micro pigs can learn to open cabinet doors. READ THE LABEL on everything for the benefit of you, your family, and your animals. The following section lists many toxic substances, but does not cover each and every possibility.

Some symptoms of poisoning are: convul­sions, labored breathing, seizures, salivation, vomiting, muscle spasms, elevated tempera­ture, weakness, uncoordination, nasal secre­tion, diarrhea, dehydration, disorientation, staggering, stumbling, and loss of sight or hearing. Remember, know your micro pig and its normal behavior. Be aware of any unusual change, and take action if necessary.

Everything we eat is not good for animals, and some of it is not good for us either!