Archive for March 9th, 2021

Diary #558

Saturday was a sad day at Sunset. Orville didn’t respond when I called him for dinner, so I went to the barn to see if he might not be incapacitated again, as happened in mid-January; I found him in his usual nest, but unfortunately quite dead.  He was cold but not stiff, so it had apparently happened sometime late morning or early afternoon, and there were no indications of what might’ve happened except a little bloody discharge from his snout.  He hasn’t shown any kind of symptoms; the picture below was taken only a week ago today, and he appeared perfectly normal.  I haven’t noticed anything unusual about his stools (eg parasites or blood), and other than the incident in January and a chronic limp which seems to have been caused by the rough hog-tying his previous owners inflicted on him when they dumped him, he’s always been an apparently healthy animal.  I even asked our helpful neighbor (who keeps pigs himself) if had any clue, and he had none; he was as surprised as I was.  The internet seems to point toward a respiratory infection called actinobacillus pleuropneumonia (APP) which can “cause sudden death in all ages of swine…it is common to see pigs that have recently died with blood coming from the nose“.  Grace did not take the news well; she loves animals in general and was quite attached to her “little piggy”.  The only consolation is that he was a happy pig, and any suffering must have been very short-lived because he was in good spirits and had a healthy appetite just the day before.  And in the end, for pigs as well as people, the important thing is not when we die, but how we live.

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