Pig farming is pretty difficult with respect to veterinary bills. It's impossible to get a pig treated and then sell it at market price and make a profit of any sort, but I sure do hate to see them die young or have to put them down.unbilical hernia. It's a hole in her abdominal wall that didn't close up, and part of her guts -- probably her intestines -- are protruding out of her abdomen and pushing against the skin of her belly. This is considered to be a genetic defect, and usually means that she'll be raised as a strictly slaughter animal, but the real issue is keeping her alive. I spotted this hernia a week ago and used a livestock crayon to mark her so that I could find her in a group of piglets, and I watched this hernia to see what it was going to do.
Small hernia is worse.
It's not obvious, but small hernias like this are actually more dangerous to the pig than a big one. The risk is that a small piece of intestine will get into the hole and then get pinched off or broken, causing the rapid death of the pig. A bigger hernia means a smaller chance of something getting entrapped. So small is one reason I'll treat her right now.
And here she is after the procedure. She's not really happy about the tape, but I watch her to make sure she's moving and eating and drinking, and I also move her into a pen with just a couple of buddies. Eventually the other pigs will chew off the duct tape, but it'll take a couple of weeks. I'll watch to make sure that she's pooping and that her belly doesn't swell from retained waste.
And the next day she's out moving around with the other pigs, and moving more easily. We'll see if she gets through this. My survival rate using this technique is about 80%. Without any treatment about 30% of them spontaneously get better, and then other 70% die in the next month or two. With this particular pig she was not gaining weight and showing signs pain and distress, and it was time to intervene.