“In fact, some have suggested selling the cow for slaughter. But all of our family were attached to this docile Vechur cow, a rare native variety. So we accepted the vets’ alternative suggestion for the amputation, ”said KV Davies, the cow’s owner.
According to experts at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Mannuthy, where the surgery was performed, the cow’s leg had to be amputated well above the hoof and below the hock joint.
The farmer’s family struggled to support the cow in the postoperative period as she could not even stand. The surgeons had kept the viable part of the leg and a thick padding was inserted under the amputated part, improving the possibilities of putting on an artificial limb.
However, the spread of Covid-19 has become a major obstacle in explorations for the installation of an artificial limb. The development of an artificial limb suitable for the cow was also a challenge in Kerala.
Finally, the managers of the KIT-CAT Orthosis and Prosthesis Center in Thrissur volunteered to produce an artificial limb and try it on an experimental basis on the cow.
The artificial limb was attached with a support above the hock joint, KIT-CAT’s Susanth said. Even though the cow had first tried to get rid of the artificial limb by shaking the paw, she has now accepted it and walks on it in an almost normal manner. “The vets told us that the cow can even conceive and give birth after fully adjusting with the artificial limb,” said Davies, who is also the local secretary of CPM in Manalur.