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Injury Piggies walking on elbows- How to help


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Aug 7, 2010
I do piggie shelter out of my house and yesterday we got a call for two piggies with mites and front leg deformities. While I am taking care of the mites with Ivermectin and can already see they are responding to it. I don't know what to do about their paws/legs/elbows. They seem to be walking on them, and have sores from a year's worth of doing so. Apparently they are a year old and haven't grown past the size of 3 months ish.

Obviously we will get them to the vet, but I'm afraid of the cost of surgeries to help them, I will do some fundraising, and hope that will help, but in the mean time I am thinking of putting them on fleece, perhaps making some kind of wraps or covers for their elbows, any other suggestions?

By the way, they came from mass breeders.
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Elbow wraps sound like a good idea, just make sure to not wrap too tightly, as that could exacerbate any issues they already have. You also might look into honey wraps if the sores are open.

How bad are the mites? One of the rescues I volunteer with had a pig come in recently with a severe case of mites, and he was literally doing headstands because he was in so much pain and was presumably trying to scratch, but couldn't move his back legs well enough because of the condition he was in.

Best of luck to you and please update us.
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Aww poor piggies. :( How can people do that to sweet little piggies? Poor things. I hope they get better soon.
I would be interested in pics of this condition. It might also be in best interest to ask on guinealynx.info in the medical section. They might have some further suggestions since they are more knowledgable about procedures, medications and such there...
What is a honey wrap? I will go over to guinea lynx to check it out. I haven't touched them much because they are in pain and I don't want to make it any worse. I can describe their front legs as looking like being curved in so that they can't straighten them to walk. Poor babies.
Here is an abstract showing clinical evidence that treatment with plain, unadulterated honey greatly increase epithelization and wound healing time: Acceleration of wound healing by topical applicati... [Am J Surg. 1983] - PubMed - NCBI

Here is a link from GuineaLynx regarding how to properly bandage cavies: https://www.guinealynx.info/bandaging.html

You may want to inquire on GL, but to my understanding, you apply honey to the wound and then bandage the wound, exposing it to air at various times throughout the day to allow the wound to breathe.

Additional info here: (broken link removed)
Aww poor piggies. :( How can people do that to sweet little piggies?

They do that because other people buy them because they're cute pets. The pet mill breeders give them no medical care nor do they use good breeding practices -- the problems those pigs have are no doubt due to inbreeding.

Poor piggies like that are the reason we're so pro-rescue and anti-purchase.
One of my pigs (she passed away recently at a ripe old age) had a foot deformity--one of her front legs was bent to the side and back at the "wrist". She was born that way, she learned to walk on the joint. It developed a callus, but never ulcerated. She was fine on shavings, but the last year of her life was on fleece. Your two may have more problems, however, being as it's both their front feet?
I took a look at Guinea Lynx -- there have been several pigs over there with deformed front legs and feet. The consensus seems to be that if they are very young, it's possible to do a complicated, expensive, sometimes-unsuccessful surgery to try to straighten them out.

But most people have just kept them bedded on fleece -- the skin on the side of the feet that they walk on doesn't get eroded that way. It is important to keep their bedding clean so that any lesions or scratches on the side of the feet don't get infected.
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