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11 week old piglet with possible sprained rear knee?
A little background (more information is better than less, right?)
We have four hampshire/berkshire cross piglets, three from the same litter which are around 13 weeks old (Stumps and Wilber, cut males, and Boots, female), and one from a different litter who's 11 weeks old (Basil).
Basil is larger than the other three for a couple reasons: he was kept with his mother (so was getting grain AND still nursing) up until the day we picked him up at 9 weeks of age; and he was also one of the largest pigs out of his litter of 11.
The other three are litter mates (Stumps, Boots, and Wilber) and were the smallest out of their litter of 17. They were also weaned off their mother entirely at 6-7 weeks old, and we picked them up from the breeder at 8 weeks of age.
All have been together at our farm for about 3 weeks now (the trio arrived first, and we picked up the solo about 2 weeks after that), and aside from the first day or two of establishing the pecking order, they have been playing, eating, sleeping together without any real issues. Every now and again Boots (the only female) will get bossy and try to mount everyone, much noise ensues, and within a minute or so everyone's back to happy-times.
Yesterday late morning (around 11:00a), we noticed Basil wasn't putting any/much weight on his right rear leg. It looks like he's purposefully keeping his toes off the ground, and his knee area is quite swollen (not alarmingly so, just noticeably larger than the other one). We have been watching closely over the last 18-20 hours or so, and it doesn't appear to be getting any worse, but it's certainly got getting any better, either.
We consulted several friends/family members who also have livestock, and a couple of them advised us to give him 1/3-1/2 a tablet of Tylenol (they cautioned against Aspirin since it's a blood thinner, and also against Ibuprofen since it can cause upset stomach) just to help with the swelling a bit. They don't believe these little guys could have done something SO drastic as to have broken any bones (Basil is the largest, after all, and he's perhaps 50 lb? probably a little less), but with all of the running and jumping and playing they do together, they suspect he may have landed funny in one of the many holes they have created with all their rooting and digging, and they think he's either dislocated or twisted/sprained his knee.
All four piglets are destined for the butcher in the fall, so paying several hundred dollars (or more) for vet bills is probably out of the question for us (however a quick visit to attempt a re-location might still be on the table, if that's what's happened).
My question is, how long should we wait before we will "know" if he's going to get better, or if he's always going to be limping and in pain? We don't want to prolong his suffering, but we don't want to make a decision too quickly, either, if there's a chance he'll pull through? We've done pigs like this (piglets in the spring, butcher in the fall) for years and we've never had something like this happen, so while we like to think we're pretty well-versed, clearly this round of bacon seeds has thrown us a curve ball. Any help/thoughts/suggestions are welcomed, just nothing snarky or belittling, please (we already feel bad enough that he's managed to hurt himself).