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Specialist Older Pig Losing Condition?

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MerryPip

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My gorgeous H boy has started to drop some condition. We know he's at least 4 -4.5 but could be older...

He's lost a little bit of weight recently, mainly from around his hips and now it seems around his shoulders too. He's always been a good eater and still seems to be although not always as interested as he used to be (he occasionally needs tipped out of bed for veggies and prefers his favourites and will leave the rest, in the past he'd eat the whole lot.

I just can't put my finger on anything that's not right, not that I could explain to the vet. My vet is very good and always listens to my concerns but I am just not sure there is anything they could easily find? I accept that my boy is just getting old but this change in condition seems a little quick to just be the aging process....

I had considered he might have arthritis and that's why he's losing muscle mass around his joints. He's a big pig (1.5kg at his heaviest and averaging 1.45) so there's a fair chance he's put more strain on his joints than the average pig... SO that may be a consideration.

Any ideas welcome!
 

Jerrybelly

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Hmm that is strange. My Jerry is nearly 6 and he is definitely slower than he used to be. He eats his food carefully, and takes twice as long as the other boys. He hasn't lost any weight though, and apart from his fading eyesight you wouldn't really tell his age. H. is a much bigger pig (Jerry is only 1.1kg), so perhaps you're right in saying that he is losing muscle mass as he starts to settle into his older pig body?
 

MerryPip

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He's happy and settled so I am not overly concerned (that's why we haven't been to the vet yet....) but we might have to visit the vet just to rule some options out.

I guess diabetes is also a possibility given he is a big pig with a penchant for sweet things!

The other option (and the one I'd rather not think about) is that the short episode of streaks of blood on his poo that happened a few months ago is something nasty growing in his bowel.... In that case we won't be doing any heroics but I really hope it isn't :(
 

Wiebke

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There is no set old age; some piggies age at 4 years old while others go on for many more years.

I am currently going through the same experience with my Terfel, who is officially coming up to an estimated 5 years old, but who may be a bit older. He has been seen by Simon, who couldn't find anything specific that could account for his gradual weight loss since last summer and his slow loss of condition. His sow-wife Mali is looking fitter than him at 7 years old!

Please have him checked over at your vets, but brace yourself that there may not be any straight forward results.
 

MerryPip

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Please have him checked over at your vets, but brace yourself that there may not be any straight forward results.
That's the plan but I have the feeling you are right, there's nothing straight forward.... Oh well!
 

Freela

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We went through this with one of our older pigs, Linney, gradually over the last year or so of her life. She thinned out and lost muscle mass and you could feel her hips and shoulder blades. She kept eating and drinking, but lost a lot of muscle mass (it's muscle that you generally feel around the hips and shoulders that pads them and keeps them from feeling bony.) She did see the vet, but major problems were ruled out... her heart and lungs sounded okay, her blood sugar was okay, her kidney function was okay, no lumps or bumps or masses could be felt. There was no real cause other than the natural aging process (people lose muscle mass as we get old as well!) She lived to be about 6 years and 2 months and then passed away without ever really developing any signs of a more diagnostically specific illness. I may just be one of those 'getting up there' things.
 

MerryPip

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Yup, I think it probably is just age but it's happened a little quick or maybe I'm just noticing it now.... We will get an MOT at the vets st some point just to be sure though. He's pretty happy in himself so not overly concerned
 
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