Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Earnest slowly improves and the prayer flags wave

After going down Sunday morning with a high fever, Earnest is slowly improving. Yesterday he stated out good but his fever really rose to a high level. And didn't recede much until this morning. It is still a bit high, but, there are many good signs in the past eight hours, and my pig vet and I are feeling somewhat better. We think it might be respiratory related but aren't sure. The antibiotic he is on last seven days with one shot and is sometimes referred to as a miracle drug by some farmers, I'm told, and it covers many infections. The other drug is injected 2x a day and is helping him relax and be comfortable, and helps reduce the fever [but not the infection]. So the next step is to get through the next two days on the one drug and if he goes off it Friday and his fever returns, we'll cover our next steps then.Sheep shots are easy, pig shots- tough skin! And he is feeling better, shots are harder to do, but he and I have our ways.

But for now, I'm so happy he got up on his own this morning-groggily-to see that he got some breakfast. And, he pushed Eleanor out of the way, a sure sign he is improving. He went out on his own and drank, pooed and peed-which I declared,

"Earnest, you're peeing! Good"

"Of course, I'm peeing, good grief," he said in a glance. "And don't poke that stick in my poop shoot again, please?"

Another sign of feeling better-he was getting more and more irritated by his temperature getting taken. Although Marcella was thrilled with this. Marcella has been nurse to my doctoring all week. It has it beautiful moments-ones I wish I could have captured on my good camera. But I felt I had to focus on th doctoring. I took some pics with my phone. So many moments, I'd glance at Marcella and she'd be staring at Earnest, then she bound off to check the barnyard, back to me and Earnest.

But perhaps the best sign today was seeing him standing with Eleanor–who shows no signs of illness–and seeing him take a couple sniffs of her derriere. This is farming at its best.

I will go to bed exhausted but feeling less afraid to enter the barnyard tomorrow morning. Pigs are so different than sheep, and I know how to deal with sheep/goat issues. I am still learning pigs.

But as things improve for Earnest, Stella is declining. I was hoping I could have Earnest back 100% before I had to really focus on her. She is really becoming too weak to stand on her own. I will write more soon.