And that was that. Today we euthanized our beloved 11 year old Vietnamese Potbellied Pig....her name as many of you know was Morgan Sophia Beasley. A pig so nice, they named her thrice. We adopted her from the Erie County SPCA in January of 2010 shortly after we bought this house/property that became Czar of the Woods Farm. The quick version of her story and how she came to be a member of our menagerie is that she was an old pig waiting for her forever home at the SPCA. She ended up there when the women that previously owned her was going through a divorce and could no longer keep her. She actually then got adopted but was brought back when those people realized that they couldn't keep a pig in their township. We fell in love with her and gave the old girl a chance.
Morgan and Sarah became very close and you could often find the two of them in a nice sunny spot in the summer with Sarah reading, and as I would often joke using Morgan as an ottoman. Morgan was super sweet and very smart (Sarah taught her to sit on command, she especially loved to to do this for grapes).
Last year she developed severe arthritis in one of her elbows and then the other. We had her on an NSAID, which is the equivalent of aspirin (Rimadyl specifically) and joint supplements (Osteo Bi Flex). It worked for a long time actually and she continued to live a happy life. A few weeks ago we noticed a change in her as she seemed to be painful again. I was worried that the pain meds and supplements were no longer enough. Slowly she began to decline and could no longer get up on her own and was in pain when I tried to help her. She would eat but only if I brought it to her. Per our veterinarian's recommendation we even put her on Loratab which is a human narcotic couple with Tylenol. This was after we had stopped the Rimadyl for 4 days because you can't keep a pet on 2 NSAIDs concurrently as it can cause severe stomach ulcers.
Working in veterinary medicine I always tell clients that when a pet's quality of life drops off it is time to make that difficult decision to let them go. As hard as it is I always tell them and have now told this to myself and Sarah two times (the last being Traveler) that it is the last act of love that we can give to them. To free them of their pain and suffering. Humans should be so lucky.
So yes, that was that. We couldn't let her go on any longer. Arthritis, although painful, seems benign enough and not something that would cause death but in all the research I have done and in speaking with our vet it is the number one reason to euthanize an otherwise healthy pig when such severe arthritis cannot be managed. It also causes them to gain weight from lack of mobility. Sadly she put back on the weight she had lost when she moved here. I would't be surprised if her body began 2 shut down as she was no longer eating or drinking since yesterday.
So it is a sad day at Czar of the Woods Farm.
Morgan Sophia Beasley was SOME PIG!
We'll have to find a new way of dealing with our Dandelions. She loved to behead them! They were her favorite early summer treat.
PS-you can read her story when she, Sarah and I were all featured in the Buffalo News here in a previous blog post: http://czarofthewoodsfarm.blogspot.com/2010/05/extra-extra-read-all-about-it.html