February 26, 2020: Tonight we have to share a very sad and unexpected update. We recently said goodbye to our sweet potbellied pig, Lola. We are so sorry to have to bring this news.

Lola had been on stall rest the last couple of weeks due to pain in her limbs. Early last week, she was taken to UW Vet Hospital for a CT scan under general anesthesia to diagnose the issue. Unfortunately, Lola did not do well while under anesthesia and was diagnosed with a serious condition called malignant hyperthermia. This is when the body has a severe reaction to general anesthesia, resulting in a dangerous rise in body temperature, muscle spasms, and high heart rate. Lola’s doctors were able to get her through it, but the CT did not look good: It showed she had elbow dysplasia in both front limbs and arthritis in her back legs, probably from trying to compensate for her compromised front legs.

It was obvious that our girl had been hiding a lot of discomfort, and it was only worsening for her. Her pain could possibly have been improved by surgery, but Lola was no longer a candidate due to the malignant hyperthermia. She would not have survived surgery. Since she was already on the maximum amount of pain medication and with no long-term options for controlling her pain, Lola’s doctors recommended humane euthanization.

Lola was Heartland’s very first rescued potbellied pig. She was just a baby when she found her way to our sanctuary in early 2012. She had been purchased from a breeder by a family who quickly realized that they were in over their heads with a pet pig. The family tried to return Lola, but the breeder refused to take her and she had nowhere else to go.

Lola grew into one of the sweetest pigs to ever live at Heartland. She was kind, independent, happy and oh-so-smart. Lola could learn anything, and she loved learning. Her best friend was Ellie, but she got along with almost everyone and saw the arrival of every potbellied pig through the years (and Maxwell, too!). Lola was loved and adored by so many. She was a lucky pig with a magical life, and we were even luckier to get to experience that with her. We will miss you so much, Lola Bear.

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