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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15663
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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We have a 4 month old pet pig, Fern. When we got her about 3

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We have a 4 month old pet pig, Fern. When we got her about 3 weeks ago, she had a runny nose, which within a couple days progressed to a more severe snotty nose (yellowish mucus) & sneezing. Our vet put her on a 10-day course of oral amoxicillin which seemed to clear things up quickly. She has been off the antibiotics for a week now, and unfortunately, we are now seeing the snotty nose return (to a lesser degree at this point; no sneezing again as of yet, but it definitely seems to be flaring up again).I am thinking it is likely rhinitis based on those symptoms (we have had pet pigs for over 10 years but I have never personally seen rhinitis). We have 5 other pet pigs, all of whom are vaccinated against it.A little more backstory on this gilt: She was the runt of the litter and unfortunately was not able to nurse effectively so was bottle fed. So I would imagine that her immune system isn't a good as it could be. She is very small for her age. She has always had a great appetite (even when symptoms were the worst right before being prescribed the amox). Other than the snotty nose, she is quite vigorous and acts like a normal pig. We aren't seeing any twisting of the snout yet, nor are we seeing any blood in the mucus. She eats a commercial mini-pig chow and free choice grass hay with veggies as treats.Our vet is great, but is not really a 'pig person' (unfortunately it is really difficult to find vets who work extensively with pigs!). It seems as though the amoxicillin didn't effectively clear whatever is going on with Fern. I am wondering if we should start her on a different antibiotic like either Aureomycin crumbles in her feed or injectable Liquamycin (I do also have some SMZ on hand).. I really hate throwing around antibiotics without being absolutely necessary, but we are really worried that if this is indeed rhinitis, we should take a more aggressive treatment approach since she was the runt and very possibly has a less-than ideal immune system due to being bottle fed (We are really concerned about the potential longer-term damage that may be possible with rhinitis to the snout and nose and want to make sure we get this cleared up if at all possible).Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 26 days ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now I share your concern about Fern's relapse. Now atrophic rhinitis (AR) is a concern but we can see these signs related to a slew of other bacterial agents. So, we'd not assume it was AR right off the bat. That said, the relapse after Amoxicillin is a concern since this suggests that either the bacterial agent present was only partially sensitive to this or that we have an underlying issue (ie fungal infection, polyp, foreign body, nasal turbinate changes/scarring, etc) that bacteria are colonizing.

With all this in mind, we don't want to just through antibiotics at her. This isn't good for her and could actually worsen this bacterial agent's resistance to our antibiotics. Instead, it would be ideal to have the local vet collect a sample of this nasal discharge to be sent to the vet lab for culture/sensitivity. That way we will know what bacteria is present and what drugs it is vulnerable to. That will allow us to target treatment to clear this, reduce the risk of nasal passage changes/scarring from this infection, and give us an idea of whether there are any other underlying issues present (ie via fungus also being cultured or if the bacteria isolated are typical primary agents). So, that would be our best next step here and something the local vet should have no qualms doing since it is a sample they will be familiar collecting with other patients.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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