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Arnold was picked up on a cold rainy day in October, to get a companion for my friend Red. Arnold had been given the terrible name of Dumbo, by his former owners. Completely unsuitable, as far as I am concerned. Arnold is one of the biggest beggars I have ever had living with me. You can hardly walk past the cage, without him standing up, and squealing. he gets very excited when I come home, and squeaks at me when I get up in the morning and come downstairs.
Arnold has lived with other little pigs before, and was around two years old, as close as they could tell, when I got him. He has had at least two owners, and was back at the Humane Society twice, when I got him. He had been brought in by his first owner, and was then brought back, by the girl who adopted him, on the grounds that she could not care for him. He will not be going back again. He has found his home.
Arnold was friendly right off, likes people, likes being held, really likes his treats, and even likes Red, who is not always so easy to get along with. Arnold will eat anything. So far, he has not turned down any food item that has been offered. Some pigs can be fussy eaters, and all have their own personal tastes; but Arnold likes everything.
Things have not been so easy for Arnold. About eight months after I got him, he started squeaking when he passed urine or pellets. It turned out to be a bladder stone. My old vet told me to give him lots of water and gave me some pain medication. I knew, from previous experience, that this was not right, so I got a second opinion. X-rays showed a little stone, about the size of a grain of rice, very near the exit of the bladder. Such a stone could have been dislodged and caused a blockage. this would have resulted in a painful and drawn out death.
An operation was performed and the stone removed. Arnold recovered nicely, and was on antibiotics or several weeks. A month or two latter, he had a problem with his foot, and needed to have a pair of toes removed, due to infection. Problems, problems. Still, he seems quite stoic about the whole thing, recovered nicely, and never did lose his good disposition. I have now nicknamed him toeless Joe, though he still has one remaining toe on his right foot, as well as the original three on his left. The vet advised me that the infection could have killed him, if not caught in time. This just underscores the delicate nature of these little animals. Had I discovered his sore foot a few days earlier, it might have been enough to simply clean it out, and perhaps give him some antibiotic - rather than surgery and amputation. Had I caught it a few days latter, he may very well have been beyond help.