It’s pretty incredible. The vet found the lump more than two weeks ago and the life expectancy for pigs with lymphoma is two to five weeks after diagnosis. I took Pepino to the vet yesterday and the vet said Pepino had gained weight since his last weigh-in and the post-surgical swelling had gone down. The lump in his neck had not come back and there were no new ones to be found anywhere.
Steroids are usually used as treatment for pigs with lymphoma but usually don’t have any major effect, also the vet is worried about other side effects. So for the time being we are keeping Pepino as happy and comfortable as possible with the pain meds we used for the post-abscess treatment and letting him eat as much as he wants of whatever he wants.
Our vet is continuing to research his condition as much as she can and also ask the advice of Dr. Scott Stahl, one of the area’s premiere exotic veterinarians, who is cutting back on his practice hours to pursue other interests.
I have been syringing water and Critical Care into him to keep him hydrated at least but I am not sure he will live through the night (or even the afternoon). I feel terrible but I have been through this too often and know when it is an animal's (or a person's) time to go.
- I dissent.
My co-worker who evidently doesn't know much about animals doesn't understand it's not kind to keep syringing food, water and meds into an animal that can't hardly swallow. When Pippin died I met a guy who had recently lost his dog. We talked about syringe-feeding animals for extended periods of time and his quote was "they don't enjoy it and neither do we."
I am very grateful to have had Pepino more than five years. When I got him he had what looked like a bite wound from one of his brothers and mites which he had probably been harbouring for a while. After that (about four years) he hardly even sneezed--the only time he was at the vet's was for check ups. When he got the abscess last December I didn't expect him to live through New Year's and then I didn't expect him to survive Good Friday. Now I'm done with school for at least the time being, my mom's house has been sold and she is safely in assisted living. So I guess it could be worse.
Kelly Jo said animals know when it's their time to go. Pippin lived through the misery of mold remediation and refinancing the house--just too bad he died on my birthday. My aunt is one of those people who has to have SOMEONE to care for--my mom said G-d kept her drug-addicted son and our 96-year-old grandmother alive long so my aunt would have someone to care for. Now she has one daughter in law, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
- I dissent.
You have my sympathy, Jane Doe.
When Patapsco was dying the vet did suggest some last-ditch measures driving at least 15 or 20 miles to another vet in Virginia and having more tests done, which would probably not Tammy at Cavymadness, who is like my Obi Wan Kenobe or my Mr. Miyagi agreed that stuff like that only stresses the animal and in this case would have stressed me, too. After the vet found the huge tumour on his Patapsco's pancreas she told me I was "110% right" in insisting he be euthed that same day.
The vet called with Pepino’s necropsy results the day (or the day after) I dropped him off but this has been very painful to post about. Surprisingly it apparently wasn’t the cancer that killed him—it had spread very little if at all since the surgery. The vet said she found blood in his chest so it was probably a heart attack or a stroke that killed him—whatever it was it was probably sudden although I knew about 12 hours before he died he probably didn’t have much time.
Surprisingly his liver and kidneys were fine although he had been on various medications for almost eleven months—my own liver and kidneys took a beating from just a few weeks of OTC medications. At any rate she says he probably didn’t suffer much (he seemed pretty good about 25 to 36 hours before) and even if I had got him to an emergency vet it wouldn’t have helped. And he got to die at home.
I am tearing up just writing this and still feeling blue, even though the vet says Pellegrino is fine and we are going with all the happy things that come with adopting a new baby.
I am sorry about Pepino.