Sunday, July 10, 2011

Piglet patching: Treating a BIGGER hernia

I wrote an entry a few days ago about treating a small umbilical hernia in a pig.  Here's a look at a big umbilical hernia treatment. 


It's pretty obvious.  It's protruding quite a bit below the line of the belly, and looks painful -- red and irritated. 
The tennis ball is being used for scale.  on a little pig like this it's pretty darn big.  It can't feel good either.  the internal organs are probably forcing the opening wider every day, and that's got to hurt.  Despite that this little pig is running around and eating, but I'd like to see if we can't fix this problem. 
It's helpful to have a another pair of hands -- here Andrea holds the pig while I carefully, gently push the intestines back into the pig.  The skin is warm to the touch, and feels a lot like an innertube.  there's quite a bit of tension on the skin.  The pig is screaming while I'm doing that, and every time it draws a breath I feel the guts push out hard. 
We wait a few minutes until the pig calms down, and then slowly push the mass back into the body cavity.  Once it's in, I slip the tennis ball half in to provide some support and then use the duct tape to hold it in place. 
After the procedure the little pig is returned to her litter and we watch to make sure that she's running around.  We'll keep an eye on her to make sure she's eating and drinking and pooing -- the blue duct tape is used to make her more visible. 

How long?   Usually we'll look at the pig in a week.  At this age they're able to grow pretty fast, so the concern is that the duct tape might be too tight.  Probably leave the ball in place for 2 weeks, check to see how we're doing, and if we need to, retape the pig. 

2 comments:

adalynfarm said...

Did I miss an update on the last little 'outie'?

off grid mama said...

NEAT! I'll forward this one to my husband. We've never had a hernia... yet.