Goodbye No.One II (Ihid VII)

-9 August 2019

March 1 2019:
          Link to "Brownie's Fourth Farrowing"
Brownie's Fourth Farrowing

The History:

March  03:

Piglet Suffocated while Suckling Revived, Fed and Put in a Box for Safe Keeping

Images of tropical backyard piglet rescued from

March  04:

Rescued Piglet now Drinking from a Bowl

Images of rescued tropical backyard
        piglet drinking in a box on the balcony

...and  Another Weak Piglet is Removed from the Pen

Imagews of weak tropical backyard piglet removed from
        its mother's pen

March  05:

The Two "Rescued" Piglets Seem to be Thriving

Images of two tropical backyard
        piglets hand raised in a box

March  06:

Fatima builds a Temporary Pen on the  Balcony for the Two Piglets

Images of tropical backyard hand
        raised piglets in temporary pen on balocny

March  09:

One Week plus One Day Old

Images of 8 day old piglets on tropical house balcony

March  29:

Piglets Four Weeks Old Tonight

Imges of four week old
            tropical backyard piglets

April  03:

Balcony Piglets Escape -but are recaptured

Imagews of escaped piglets returning
        to their temporary pen

April  08:

The Two "Orphaned" Balcony Piglets Return to their Original Pen

Images of hand reared piglets being
          returned to their siblings

...but  are not Welcomed by the Siblings

Images of hand reared piglets
          returned to their siblings

So they get Special Treatment (again)

Images of hand raised piglets in private pen

April  11:

The First Bunch of Piglets get taken to New Homes

Images of tropical backyard piglets
        being caught

With only Four of the Eight Piglets Left -we try to integrate the "Orphans" again

Imagss of hand raised tropical
        backyard piglets being returned to their siblings

....but They Still get Bullied

Images of hand raised tropical ackyard
        piglets isolated by their siblings

April  12:

Another Piglet Collected while We were Out Shopping -Leaving just Three Behind

Images of tropical backyard piglets
          in a pen

Plus the Two "Orphans"

Images of hand raised tropical
            backyard piglets

April  14:

The Last two Piglets are Collected -together with some Cuttings and our Billy Goat

Images of tropical backyard piglets being caught

Leaving the "Orphans" to Inherit the Pen

Imagws of hand raised tropical
          backyard pigl;ets in a large empty pen

April  21:

The Last Piglet is Collected -Leaving No.One alone

Images of tropical backyard piglet being collected by
          new owner

May  04:

"Orphaned" Piglet now Settling Down and Growing Bigger

Images of lone piglet in tropical backyard

May  26:

Piglet Moved to Temporary Pen Under House

-Attempts to lure piglet into a sack fail -so tied to a leash
Images of backyard piglet

-and finally lured with food into new pen
Images of tropical backyard piglet being lured to
            new pen

Images of tropical backyard piglet in new pen under
          the house

June  06:

Brownie's Pen is Tidied Up and No. One Moves In

Images of tropical backyard pig pen being cleaned up

Images of tropical baclyard piglet being moved to a
          new pen

July  28:

No.One Moved To A Temporary Pen

Images of tropical backyard pig
            moved to a new pen

August  06:

No.One Is a Bit Under the Weather -so she gets a Bath to Cheer her up

Images of tropical backyard piglet
            getting a bath

August  08:

No.One is Put in the Garden To Cheer Her Up

Images of trpical backyard pig
            being taken into the garden

No.One Has  a Fever and is Given a Bath -She is eating and drinking very little

Images of sick pig in tropical
            backyard garden

No.One Starts Vomiting Blood and is Put Back in Her Pen

Images of tropical backyard pig
            after vomiting blood

August 09, 2019

The Problem:

Images of sick tropical backyard

Although Bohol is a promoted as a rural area strong in "Organic" farming, there is surprisingly little effective veterinary help for backyard farmer.

Without a reliable diagnosis, the backyard pig farmer is left to fend for themselves -and rely on their own experience and judgement.

In practice, this means that faced with a sick animal one has three choices:
  1. Cull the animal immediately -while the meat is still edible
  2. Wait -and hope the animal recovers naturally
  3. Give anti-biotic and hope the animal recovers -because the meat is otherwise inedible

Because profit margins are thin and most farmers cannot easily afford to write off their investment -this is a difficult choice to make, especially without expert help and good diagnostic backup.

For us, the problem was made more complicated because our new freezer had recently broken down and had not been repaired, due to a dispute with the retailer over the warranty.

The Preparation:

No.One was still poorly today -so we decided it was time to act.

Images of preparations for slaughtering
                        a sick tropical backyad piglet

Images of tropical backyard piglet

Images of sick tropical backyard piglet
                        being culled

The Butcher is very skilled -and the animals die quickly and silently

Images of dead tropical backyard piglet
                        being weighed

Currently weighing around 60 kilo,  she had lost a lot of weight in the last few days

Images of preparing to shave dead
                        tropical backyard piglet

Images of dead tropical backyard piglet
                        being shaved

The Examination:

Images of tropical backyard piglet
                        being butchered

Images of inside a dead tropical
                        backyard piglet

The meat seemed fit to eat -so we continued butchering.

The Carcass:

Images of carcsss of tropical
              backyard piglet being dismembered

Images of tropical backyard piglet carcass

Images of meat from tropical
              backyard piglet prepared for the freezer

The Reading of the Entrails:

Images of internal
                      abnormalities in Culled sick tropical backyard

Images of inernal abnormalities in culled
                    sick tropical backyard piglet

Images of sicktropical
                    backyard piglets intestines bein examined

The Internal Organs, particularly the Stomach showed various signs of disorder.

The liver looked normal, but the Gall Bladder was black; the lungs were mottled, the intestines lumpy and distorted.
There were also blood clots in the intestines.
The stomach was black inside and contained remains of food from several days ago.

The blood seemed thin.

We suspect a stomach ulcer -but the cause?

The (Partial) Burial:

Images of burial of
                  intestines from sick tropical backyard piglet

The blood and intestines were buried

The End:

Images after butchering
                      of tropical piglet

An empty pen, a few remains in the garden, and fridge full of memories


The Considered Diagnosis:

No.One (a 6-month old fattener)

After researching on the the Internet, Fatima came to the following conclusions:

Ruling Out Infectious Diseases

No.One had no diarrhea, no signs of skin discoloration, no eye or nose discharge, and no coughing. These rule out swine dysentery, ASF, classical swine fever and salmonellosis. She was an otherwise very healthy growing pig and by five to six months of age showed variable appetite despite rapidly gaining weight. On the second and third day of inappetance, she had lightly elevated temperature, but not high fever. On these days, she could only eat and drink very little. On the third day, she vomitted clotted blood and respiration rates increased for several hours due to raised temperatures. There was no further vomitting on the fourth day and body temperature was low. She defecated very little. Feces were dry, round and dark. Weight loss has started to become apparent. No.One weighed 63kg at slaughter on the fourth day.

Diagnosis - Gastric Ulcer or Ulceration of the Pars Oesophagea (UPE)

Having ruled out infectious diseases (but not ruling out possible H. suis infection), we conclude that No.One had Gastric Ulcer/UPE. On the third and fourth day, she must have had considerable (but not fatal) loss of blood as she was reluctant to stand up, seemed weak, and her gums, snout and vulva were white and not pink. At slaughter, inspection of the stomach showed large eroded areas of the pars esophagea and partially digested blood in both the pars esophagea and distal parts of the stomach. The pars oesophagea is normally pearly white. In No.One's case, an advanced degree of erosion and sloughing was seen.

The meat and carcass were pale. Inappetance and inability to drink could be due to stricture of the terminal esophagus or pars esophagea because of chronic ulcer. There were blood and blood clots in the stomach and in the intestines. The intestinal and colonic contents were very dark. There were signs of constipation at slaughter. If we waited a couple more days to slaughter, we would've seen blood in the stools (melena), and a dead anemic pig.

"Numerous studies have been conducted at slaughter and typically 80 or 90% of hogs show some type of lesion in the pars esophageal region. The thickening of the surface (parakeratosis) is very common and generally considered to be insignificant as far as its effect on the pigs health. However, erosions that sometimes involve the entire pars esophagea are found in up to 20 to 25% of stomachs at slaughter and these lesions are significant. On farms with good disease control, gastric ulcers are commonly the most important cause of mortality." - Gastric Ulcers, Pork Gateway Factsheet, 2012

Ruling out Hemorraghic Bowel Syndrome (HBS) and acute hemorrhagic PPE (Ileitis)

Histopathology, immunohistochemistry (IHC), or agent detection methods are required to confirm PPE. Nonetheless, we have ruled out HBS or PPE because HBS often strikes as sudden death without obvious symptoms while PPE symptoms typically include bloody stools, weight loss and diminishing growth. Pigs affected with HBS are often in good body condition and usually are found dead near feeder, very pale and with a distended abdomen. No.One was in good body condition but showed signs of illness and no signs of bloody thin-walled intestines at slaughter.

Could the Gastric Ulcer be secondary to other health issues?

Several common diseases can cause bleeding into the intestine, but generally these conditions are associated with diarrhea while gastric ulceration is not. However, at slaughter, No.One's lungs showed signs of early lesions and a certain degree of pleurisy was noted. This lung lesions correspond to interstitial pneumonia. The lungs are not collapsed and there is a multifocal to diffuse, lobular pattern of reddening.

Although there have been no clear clinical signs of lung disease such as pneumonia, it is possible that No.One had Porcine Parvovirus (PPV) or Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). PPV affected sow No.Three in 2017 so PPV may have been present. PRRS affects all kind of farms, including high or low health status farms, extensive or intensive production systems; any size. In the past months, No.One showed very moderate coughing and sneezing which may already be symptoms of PPV/PRRS or possibly pleuropneumonia.

(Note: Sow Number 3 died of acute respiratory disease 13 days after No.One was slaughtered. We suspect she was infected by No.One).

Possible infectious component

The most important infectious component of porcine gastric ulceration is Helicobacter suis (H. suis). H. suis colonises the stomach of the majority of pigs as well as a minority of humans worldwide. It is present in saliva and in feces of infected pigs. An infection with H. suis may result in the excessive secretion of gastric acid. Humans occasionally acquire the infection, most likely through direct contact with pigs or consumption of contaminated meat. Normal hygienic precautions may reduce the possibility of infection. H. suis is a very fastidious microorganism making it very difficult to isolate. (Other gastric non-H. pylori helicobacters colonizing the human stomach are H. felis, H. salomonis, H. bizzozeronii, and the still-uncultivable “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii.” These microorganisms are often detected in the stomachs of dogs and cats.)

No.One's health status

No.One was laid over by the sow and rescued at the age of 2 days. She was fed sow milk substitute. She would've had little colostrum intake, and would not have the health benefits of mother's milk.

Note that No.One began showing signs of inappetance within a week of switching from Grower to Finisher feeds at the same time she was transferred to a smaller pen and drastic changes in weather (seasonal changes). Stress (due to changes in the environment) and diet particle size are known contributing factors to Gastric Ulcer.

Treatment and Prevention
(From - Gastric Ulcers, Pork Gateway Factsheet, 2012)

Pigs that are observed to be pale and weak should be segregated from pen mates to prevent bullying and severely anemic pigs should be euthanized. Individual animal treatment with pharmaceuticals is prohibitively expensive therefore rarely used, but could be employed in the case of a valuable breeding animal. The most practical approach to help a pale weak pig to regain health is to encourage the affected animal to eat. Mass medication with sodium bicarbonate or buffering agents have been used but with mixed results at best.

If a specific risk factor can be identified as the probable cause of an outbreak, then steps to correct the problem should be taken. For example, if hot weather is causing pigs to not eat, methods to cool the pigs should be explored. If the underlying problem appears to be respiratory disease, vaccination or medication might indirectly improve the prevalence of ulcers.

On Meat Quality

Meat is considered PSE (Pale, Soft and Exudative) and has inferior taste and odor, but showed no visible signs of disease or lesions. Because No.One has been sick and stressed before slaughter, there has been considerable breakdown of muscle glycogen and the meat becoming very pale with pronounced acidity (pH values of 5.4-5.6) and poor flavour. This type of meat is difficult to use or cannot be used at all by butchers or meat processors and is wasted in extreme cases.

The energy required for muscle activity in the live animal is obtained from sugars (glycogen) in the muscle. In the healthy and well-rested animal, the glycogen content of the muscle is high. After the animal has been slaughtered, the glycogen in the muscle is converted into lactic acid, and the muscle and carcass becomes firm (rigor mortis). This lactic acid is necessary to produce meat, which is tasteful and tender, of good keeping quality and good colour. If the animal is stressed before and during slaughter, the glycogen is used up, and the lactic acid level that develops in the meat after slaughter is reduced. This will have serious adverse effects on meat quality. (From  CHAPTER 2: Effects of stress and injury on meat and by-product quality, Guidelines for Humane Handling, Transport and Slaughter of Livestock)


Gastric Ulcers

Ulceration of the Pars Oesophagea (Gastric Ulcers; Ulcers)

Gastric (Stomach) Ulcers

Gastric Ulcers

Guidelines for Humane Handling, Transport and Slaughter of Livestock

Manual on meat inspection for developing countries


Image of woman telephoning

Country Life

Goodbye  Ihid III
Goodbye  Ihid IV

Image of tropical backyard

Garden Diary
August 2019

Project Land
Project Home Farm

Trevor Batten
 <trevor at tebatt dot net>
 Baclayon 2019