A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Precautionary Measures

I belong to this great group on Facebook - a whole boat load of pig people who share stories and pictures, etc.  I have seen lots of posts floating around about  a bacteria that causes a disease in pigs called Erysipelas.  It's also known as Diamond Pig Disease because one of the symptoms is diamond shaped lesions.  From what I am gathering, early diagnosis and treatment is key.  If caught early this can evidently be treated with a course of penicillin.  Let's be honest - pigs are not the easiest critters to transport.  Winston hates the car, it's incredibly difficult to get him into a vehicle and the thought of doing this when he is sick, in the dead of night kinda freaks me out.

So - I headed over to Tractor Supply and bought a small bottle of penicillin to have on hand. Since critters rarely seem to get sick during vet business hours I wanted to put ourselves in the position of having it on hand should we need it.  If Winston were to show symptoms in the middle of the night or on the weekend we could contact the emergency vet and get advice as to whether we should begin treatment and not have a several hour/day delay waiting to get access to the drugs he needs.  Hopefully through the technology available - video call or texting of pictures the vet could do a preliminary assessment and determine where to start.  The small bottle of penicillin was $8.49 and it's shelf life is good until January 2018.  It's a small price to pay to have it on hand.  I also bought a box of syringes and needles so I can do the injection should I need to.

I hope I never have the need to use that penicillin - that in January of 2018 I can pull it out of the fridge and drop it off at the vet for proper disposal.  In the meantime it gives me piece of mind that it's here in the house and should an emergency come up and he need it for Erysipelas or something else, I have it and can start treatment immediately.  In addition - Winston is vaccinated for the more common strains of this disease so that helps as well.  Next time I visit the vet I will have them give me a quick tutorial on how to give the injection - how deep, location, etc - just in case....

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