rescued piglet

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This is our incredible friend Mouse. When we first met him, he was terrified and alone, trapped in a filthy stall at the horrific Hudson Valley backyard butcher operation, with no water and no access to the outdoors.

Making matters worse for Mouse: An untreated injury had left his right rear leg withered and unusable. This is an especially difficult problem for a pig; as he grew, the strain of Mouse’s weight would no doubt cause his other legs, particularly his only functioning hind leg, to break down.

Fortunately, we work with the incredible doctors at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, and they set to work on a plan to help Mouse have a better quality of life and get around more easily.

Early on in the process, Mouse had a CT scan that created a 3D image. The Cornell team then took that image and used a 3D printer to create a model of his leg to help them create a plan for the surgery.

Treatment for Mouse has included a surgery that involved cutting the tendons to release the leg — so it would come down straight instead of curling up tight against his side. The doctors also performed a procedure to lengthen the actual bones of the leg. That procedure included the breaking of the bone and the adding of rods in between, plus an outer apparatus that could then be manipulated to slowly lengthen the space between the two bone pieces. This was done slowly to allow the muscles and tendons to adjust and stretch and not tear. In between the rods, new bone was able to grow!

Mouse also underwent surgery to remove his hoof, which was damaged beyond repair. That may not sound like a good thing, but it was — it made his next stage of treatment possible! 

Throughout this process, Mouse has received incredible care from his veterinary team and regular visits from Farm Sanctuary staffers. The scared little pig we met three months ago has blossomed into a happy, charming boy who loves his human friends and enjoys a good belly rub (as you can see in the video above).

Recently, Mouse entered a new and exciting phase of his treatment! He’ll have five weeks of daily physical therapy sessions using a new brace with a tennis ball at the end to approximate a hoof. During these sessions, his amazing veterinary team is essentially giving him walking lessons – hopefully, helping him learn to put weight on his leg and keep it straight. This is no easy task for a pig who probably hasn’t had the use of all four legs since he was a young piglet – but Mouse has made great progress so far and remains in great spirits. How he responds to physical therapy over the coming weeks will determine what the next steps will be for this sweet boy. Wish him luck! 

When Ivan was a piglet him and his friend Mishka were used to attract people to a pumpkin patch petting zoo. They would have been sent to slaughter after the pumpkin patch closed if it weren’t for compassionate volunteer who intervened. Now they live together at their forever home - Animal Place. Ivan loves treats, belly-rubs, and (of course) his best friend Mishka.

Animal Place, Grass Valley, CA.

© Andrea White 2014

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This adorable piglet has regained the will to live thanks to her rescuers.

PHILIPPINES, SANTA ROSA : A resident stands with his rescued sow and suckling piglets as people (background) wade through a flooded highway in Santa Rosa town, Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila on October 19, 2015, a day after typhoon Koppu hit Aurora province. Residents of flooded farming villages in the Philippines were trapped on their rooftops October 19 and animals floated down fast-rising rivers, as deadly Typhoon Koppu dumped more intense rain. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE                        

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Three rescued baby piglets play together.