Life & Limb
Submitted by Pig Pal: April Brewer | A story of two pigs in a battle for life and limb, finding salvation and strength to keep fighting.
My name is April Brewer and my husband is Brian. We are the proud owners of two amazing pigs, and this is there story. In March of 2017 I was battling depression and my husband had found out that a store nearby had animals so to get me out of the house we went to look at them. I walked in and there were not that many animals there to see but there was a small pin that had about 6-10 small pigs in it. There in the corner was the smallest one a female with ears all turn apart and scabs all over them she was so tiny and scared. I took a couple of them out and put them on the floor they all scattered except that little scared one she came straight to me jumped on my lap and I was in love. We bonded immeditaly and even though I had not gone there to get an animal, she stole my heart in those few moments. I brought her home and named her Piglet. Piglet was a happy baby and brought so much joy to our lives. We never were apart and took her everywhere with us.
When Piglet was a little less than a year old when I noticed that she was acting differently. Even though it was settle, we still wanted to have it checked out. We took her to the vet and were told that it was a bone not sitting in place, that it should fix itself with time. The next couple of months we took Piglet back several more times and were sent home with pain meds with the assurance everything was fine. We moved forward with getting her spayed, thinking everything was fine. As Piglet began to get back up and going after the spay, we noticed one day she would not get out of bed. When we did get her up she took about ten steps and collapsed. We rushed her to the vet, and at first thought we had given her too much sodium. Then the blood work came back, and she told us that Piglet had pancreatitis. Piglet was put on antibiotics and continued the pain medication. Over the next couple of weeks Piglet’s condition continued to get worse. We searched for other vets, had one came to the house but no one could give us answers. We ended up putting her in a HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) which only bought us much needed time.
Over time Piglet was seen by 3 or 4 other vets. I began giving Piglet injections myself even though I had never done it before. We finally ended up at UF Gainesville, by this time she was doing some what better, but her hooves were falling off and we did not know what to do. The Back-left hooves came off on their own but the right one had to have an assisted amputation. Piglet did not walk on her own for over six months. We had to carry her outside and hold her but up, so she could potty which we did happily. We thought we were going to lose her. We drained our savings and did not have the money needed to do the assisted amputation. That's when I took our story to Facebook and found Mo Money for Pigs who was able to raise the money to make sure Piglet was okay.
Piglet has been healing and getting better she is now walking and we are looking to get her a prosthetic leg. If we can get one to work she will be the first pig ever to have one that works. (She is a trail blazer.) So many people told us just to put her down, but we are so glade we listened to her and stayed by her side because she is amazing.
Cat, the lady from Mo Money for Pigs sent me a message about a pig who was attacked by a large dog and as a result her leg became infected and back right leg had to be amputated. Cat asked us if we would be interested in taking her in. Brian and I had already been thinking about adopting another pig, but we wanted to make sure that it was the right pig. There was a lot of back and forth, but we agreed to take Millie in as our own. After she was spayed, we drove two and a half hours to Guyton Georgia to pick Millie up. We brought her home and gave her a good bath. It was only then it was becoming clear that even before the dog attack shew was not treated very well. The spots we thought were Black started turning back to white. Soon after we had her, and thought that the leg was healed, we noticed a smell coming from it and through experience knew something had to be done. So back to the turmeric and leg wrapping. There was a piece of bone sticking out of that leg that finally came out . As time passed, the wound no longer smelled, and started healing nicely.
Millie is one of the sweatiest animals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Piglet has been an only child until now so it is taking a bit of time for her to accept our little Millie but I am very excited for the future for both of our girls. My husband and I would like to one day be able to have more special needs pigs because lets face it, these are the ones that are going to have the hardiest time finding a loving forever home. I would love nothing more, than to be able to start a not for profit that could help with the pig epidemic that is getting worse. I plan on documenting these two stories as it's very inspiring how they just keep going on like nothing happened to them.
We hope that by reading this, you help us spread the word about adopting/rescuing pigs before purchasing from a breeder. Over 85% of pigs will be put into a foster, shelter or a rescue waiting to be re-homed. Most of these pigs are healthy, partially if not all the way trained, and need to be given a second chance on life. Share Piglet & Millie's story with your pig pals to get the word out about adoption/rescues. If you would like more information on how to help a rescue, education on pigs or how to adopt reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help get you the information you need.