Cardamom’s Gash


Cardamon with Piglets

That is Cardamom, I should the Miracle Pig, with her nine piglets in the south field. After a drought of piglet’s in June and most of July we’ve been getting a deluge this past week – 68 piglets born in ten days.

I say Cardamom is a miracle pig because this past winter she sustained a very bad cut. I was all prepared to put her down. I didn’t think she would survive and the 18″ long by 8″ wide gash on her back was deep into the muscle. We don’t know what happened but she didn’t seem to be in any pain so I waited, watching for signs of infection that never came.

Now, five months later you can barely see any indentation in Cardamom’s back where the huge flap healed. I think that what saved her is she got her cut in the middle of the winter, which is reasonably antispectic, unlike Holly’s cut which is also now all healed up.

Outdoors: 66°F/59°F Partially Sunny, 1″ Rain over night
Farm House: 72°F/68°F
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/61°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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7 Responses to Cardamom’s Gash

  1. Peg says:

    I love your piggy pictures!

  2. Someone asked for more details on Cardamom’s injury:

    The primary cut was was enormous. Literally a 18″ long by 8″ wide flap of skin, back fat and muscle from up over the base of her neck down along her back towards her tail.

    My first guess has been that she got into a disagreement with another sow but none of them have tusks long enough to do that sort of damage. See this post.

    The boars are too gentle with the sows for me to think they did it although they do have tusks big enough to inflict that sort of damage. See this post and this one which shows tusks from our smallest boar.

    Another possibility is bear or cougar. The state of Vermont has just started to admit the possibility that cougar, or catamounts as we call them around these parts, actually exist. Nice of them. I’ve lost sheep to cougar before. Tracked it the heck up the mountain in the snow.

    Bear live on all sides of us but rarely venture into the fields. Normally our livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) keep the predators at bay but it is possible a bear or cougar came into the field and messed with the sow. They probably realized it was more than they wanted to tackle if that is the case.

    There isn’t any farm equipment she could have cut herself on in the fields so that isn’t the cause. I don’t think it was a rock out cropping either as there aren’t any that are that sharp. I looked and found nothing with blood on it. No trail of blood. This was in the winter with deep snows.

    I would be interested in other ideas. It was a very clean cut with some secondary cuts by it which were very much smaller but in the same line – thus the possibility of claws.

  3. Sue F says:

    I’ve had turkey hens with enormous tears from the toms that I didn’t think would ever heal. They do. Says a lot for fresh air and sunshine.

    I had a weanling pig disappear last week. No sign of anything under the fence. No breakage or holes. It’s an electric fence surrounding a half acre of assorted brush and weeds and a big mud wallow. No reason to escape. The 2 bigger piggies and the other shoat are still in there as happy as can be. I’m inclined to think something went over the top. I do have a line at 4 feet to keep the horses out. Been thinking there is something big out there. Bears aren’t noted for jumping. Coyotes are leary of the horses, donkey and dog. All 3 critters will attack a coyote that wasn’t paying attention in tandem if need be. The pig pen sits right behind the horse barn so there is always activity. Another vote for cougar.

    My computer satellite was down. Struck by lightening. Took a month to get somebody out here to fix it. Monsoons be damned. My garden has pretty much drowned. Been buying my veggies at a local farm with better draining land. Never saw a summer like this. Lightning fried the wiring on both the TV and computer. My daughter actually got zapped from her laptop. Why her computer is still working fine I’ll never know.

  4. Adam DeGraff says:

    I’m curious, what are the signs of an infection that needs treatment and what would you do for said treatment? We have a stout little barrow that looks like he was stabbed by a a tusk. It’s about a 2″ wound. It smells putrid-ish. Flies have found it. He doesn’t mind if I touch it or even squeeze it. There’s a hard-ish spot. Juice squeezes out, but no puss/paste. (delightful, I know.) He seems totally normal, but I’d like to stay ahead of it if treatment is needed. He weights about 150-175 and delights in taunting our big boar. He usually gets in and out without incident. But this time, he wasn’t so lucky.

    Thanks!

    • Needs treatment. First is to drain and clean. Then you must decide for your program if you want to use life saving antibiotics or not. Wet heat is also very effective at treating infections. This is how I normally treat myself. Always getting cuts on the farm. Clean and heat soak. Salt in the water helps. Iodine helps. Eating garlic helps. If he is acting fine then he hasn’t had it get into his blood and that is a good sign. I’ve seen pigs heal from some bad cuts. Usually they do fine.

  5. Adam DeGraff says:

    Yes, so cleaned it… check. Seems to be draining… check. I’d prefer to avoid the antibiotics, but I’d definitely administer if necessary. Something like LA200? At the wound site? Any suggestions if it comes to that? I’ll keep cleaning/draining and I’ll add some hot wet rags to it. I also treat my own cuts/scrapes that way. Thanks!

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