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Rumblestrutting sow - next steps

Elthysia

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Hello,

My new lady Hazel (adopted on 12 January so with me for just over a month) rumblestruts A LOT. She’s also the one no one else is getting on with hence my failed bonding session as she’s very aggressive towards other pigs, apart from the one she was already bonded with (so Hazel and Penny are in one cage, my original two pigs in the other, all next to each other) but she lunges at Ragnar and Arya the moment I’ve tried bonding (so I’ve stopped now).

It doesn’t seem to be an “in season” thing, she’s rumblestrutted every day I’ve had her (not continuously).

- She is most definitely a female (I trust the rescue and I’ve checked myself and have enough experience)
- when she rumble struts she isn’t aggressive nor popcorning so it’s not particularly dominant nor happy behaviour - she doesn’t move Penny out of the way or anything like that.
- she is thought to be 9 months old when I got her, 10 months now then (at a guess, as rescued) and I think this is too young for ovarian cysts.
- happy and healthy, grown from 815 gram to 915 gram which seems ok for this age.
- no mounting behaviour or butt sniffing or chin dominance behaviour. She’s cuddly and lovely with Penny. They can happily sit in the pigloo together squashed for ages without arguing.

I am not keen on getting to vets for ultrasounds etc yet as she’s just settling in (still pretty scared of me) but after reading sow behaviour thead it just doesn’t seem to fit. Young for cysts and not a boy but behaving just like a boy - not sure what to think of it.

Are there any other hormonal possibilities? Just being a teenager? I think my pig with Cushings had problems with adrenal gland but Cushings is so very rare. I’ve just never seen a sow behave like this at this age. (I’ve had pigs with ovarian cysts after age 4).

Please note I would be happy to give her vet care, but at the moment just rumblestrutting doesn’t seem to be an urgent reason to put her through that kind of stress or general anaesthetic (I am also not too sure about my nearby vets diagnostics capabilities and knowledge - although they have been good with surgeries and emergencies etc, I’m in London/Kent) so I am inviting thoughts if anyone has any experience of this kind of behaviour or hormonal issues in young sows other than cysts?
 

VickiA

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It does sound like she could have a hormonal issue. The only other time I’ve had a sow that aggressive/charging around like a rampaging bull and it wasn’t cysts it turned out to be a thyroid issue. It may be worth a vet check to rule both out. I’d ask the rescue if they had her vet checked before rehoming.
 

Wiebke

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It is either dominance (trying making up ground from a position of weakess at the bonding) or she has teenage hormones, or a bit of a mix of both. It is still a bit on the very early stage for ovarian cysts.
 

Elthysia

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It does sound like she could have a hormonal issue. The only other time I’ve had a sow that aggressive/charging around like a rampaging bull and it wasn’t cysts it turned out to be a thyroid issue. It may be worth a vet check to rule both out. I’d ask the rescue if they had her vet checked before rehoming.
Thank you, a thyroid is an idea. They all have a basic check, and she doesn’t rehome if any suspected issue or suspected pregnancy etc. She even once offered me vet bill cover after I gave her a pig update (which wasn’t needed but the offer was there)

I find with my vets it’s better to come with some ideas for them as to where they should look when it comes to diagnostics, so the thyroid thought is very helpful and I hadn’t thought it.
 

Elthysia

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It is either dominance (trying making up ground from a position of weakess at the bonding) or she has teenage hormones, or a bit of a mix of both. It is still a bit on the very early stage for ovarian cysts.
I may give it a week or two whilst she settles in still - she’s just about grabbing food from my hand now but settles nicely at lap time instead of being ready to run. If she settles a bit more she may stop strutting her stuff - if not, I will take to the vet to see if they can test thyroid and cortisol levels (for Cushings) and ovarian cysts if they can do it without general anaesthetic

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