8. The Weekend – 17 March 2012

I am so tired, I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going but I think it’s Saturday as I write.  Yesterday I was meant to have an inspection of Snout and Crackling’s living quarters by the Animal Health City of London team but I rang them early in the day to ask them to re-schedule for next week.  It just all felt too much, trying to keep everything going:  Snout, Crackling and work as well as getting the baby to nursery and keep myself sane.  The lady that I spoke to was so understanding and we will meet in the near future.  She is investigating an influx of Iranian goldfish into London at the moment and so is pretty tied up herself.

Snout’s catheter is out and he is healing well.  When I went to visit him yesterday, we went for a blowy and quite cold walk up past the Queen Mother Centre for small animals at the RVC complex to give him some new rooting ground.  His vets, James and Ami are beginning to feel ever so slightly optimistic that he may make a full recovery.  Although he is still on painkillers and antibiotics, he is urinating more easily and confidently and is straining less.  It has all been so doom and gloom for so long and I am so tired that I am finding it hard to share in their optimism and am also afraid to in case he worsens and all hopes are dashed.

Snowy, the baby and I went to visit him this afternoon and he was much brighter than Snowy had seen him for a many days.  We weren’t able to walk him around the campus as there is an outbreak of pig disease that needs to be confined and so we all sat in Snout’s pen while he ran from person to person and was fed fruit.  Ami came by to say hello and have her clean black trousers muddied by an enthusiastic pig.  We left after about an hour and I fell asleep in the car as we drove back to London, exhausted by all the emotional trauma of the last few weeks.

Back at home, Crackling shouted for food.  Since Snout’s illness, I have changed Crackling’s diet substantially.  He now has one third of the pig nuts that he used to eat previously and these are mixed with water to make sure his water intake is increased.  I have also introduced fruit and vegetables into his diet on a twice daily basis rather than as occasional treats.   So tonight he had a mixture of pig nuts, beetroot, a courgette, carrots, cauliflower, a pear and part of a parsnip.  Parsnips, I learnt from Ami today, are not particularly good for pigs as they can develop mouth ulcers so I shall not buy them again for my porcine friends.   The other thing I have learnt that is vital from a pig’s point of view is that pigs do not like drinking very cold water.  I had spent the winter in blissful ignorance of this fact and was content that Snout and Crackling’s water troughs were full and not iced over in the cold weather.  Whenever they drink from their troughs, the water automatically refills and so there is never any shortage but because it would have been so cold, it is possible that Snout stopped drinking as much as he should and that this may have exacerbated his urinary problems.  Now that the weather is warmer, this is no longer a problem but I shall know, come next winter, that I must set up a kettle in the garden to add some hot water to their troughs.

Thank you for keeping your fingers crossed for Snout.  Please continue to cross them as firmly as possible.

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