Duchess Fund

The duchess fund

We are proud to announce that this resource has entered a new and exciting phase. The Duchess Fund Database is now under the auspices of NAPPA and will be coordinated by Dr. John Carr and his team. Dr. Carr, known worldwide as an authority on swine, will undertake management of the Duchess Fund Database, supported by an exceptional group of fellow professionals. Dr. Carr stated: “I am in awe of what Barbara and her associates have built and delighted that they have chosen to entrust the Duchess Fund to our care. We will attempt to continue and build on what they have created”.

As always, NAPPA is honored and grateful for yet another opportunity to work closely with Dr. Carr on this continuing project. NAPPA and Dr. Carr encourage pet pig owners and their vets to submit clinical histories, reports and findings to: swineunit1@yahoo.com

The Purpose and Objective of the Duchess Fund:
The contribution of your pet pig’s medical records enables us to fulfill the goals of the medical database. Please remember a medical release form should be signed by you and forward to your Veterinarian, so that we may obtain and add your pet pig’s medical records to our confidential medical database. We appreciate records on both living and deceased pet pigs.

Duchess of Pork

About Duchess:
Duchess of Pork, a registered, purebred potbellied pig, was the perfect pet and loved very much by her family of three and three other potbellied pigs. Duchess was a special pig and exceptionally bonded to her owners. She was also a deaf pig. She suffered from intermittent seizures for a year before she finally succumbed to liver disease in May, 1999.

She was barely two years old at the time of her death. The extensive diagnostic work-up (x-rays, sonograms, endoscopy, blood work) and subsequent necropsy and histopathology report all seemed to raise more questions than answers. Despite having access to the latest medical technology and drugs, veterinarians were relatively helpless in their efforts to arrest or reverse her deteriorating condition. Since no precedent had been set from any previous cases, the medical staff who worked with Duchess was truly entering new territory. The need for The Duchess Fund was obvious.

Duchess going under for medical procedure

When confronted with an illness in a pet pig, a veterinarian will have to use his/her best judgment in combining small animal medicine with swine diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and then modifying them to reflect observable differences such as weight and size. Many practitioners who have cared for a number of these animals suspect that there are other as yet unrecognized factors that may mandate a course of care different from what is currently known. Even if current therapies are fully adequate, the limited data results in the practitioner taking a conservative approach, and watching carefully for unanticipated side effects specific to the breed or individual. Such an approach may not always yield the best long term outcome. More aggressive therapies are not prudent unless there is much better data available as to the probable impacts (both positive and negative) of various approaches.

Therefore, the Duchess Fund Medical database will help many pigs to come in the future. The medical records and the subsequent information in the Duchess Fund database will better enable veterinarians to treat and manage pot-bellied pigs in a timely manner. Unfortunately, many other pigs have suffered similar fates, unknown diseases or illnesses have claimed the lives of many pigs. This fund is very important to the overall pig community because it will set the tone for future research and discovery. The more we know, the better off ALL pigs will be. In order to learn more about pig diseases, information has to be collected in a formal manner with extensive research into the causes and claims. This can be done using this program and the information published in studies that can affect the way pig vets treat these wonderful animals. Please consider being part of the solution.


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