Dudley the cow was bought as a baby by a cattle rancher in Tennessee who makes a living of buying cows at auctions, fattening them and selling them for slaughter.
Dudley came to him with bailing twine all wrapped around his foot so tight the his foot came off due to lack of blood flow. The rancher gave him antibiotics and tried to make him better, but Dudley needed more than that. The baby cow limped so bad that his spine became unaligned and his muscles atrophied. He could barely walk and was clearly in a lot of pain.
After a woman found out about him, she begged him to give him up so he could get the treatment he deserved and the rancher agreed.
The kind woman called the Gentle Barn to let them know about the case and of course they jumped on a plane to rescue him asap. She had also called veterinary hospitals and prosthetics companies, one of which agreed to make a new leg for 1-year-old Dudley.
After arriving in Tennessee, Dudley was driven right away to the University Tennessee Knoxville Large Animal Hospital to be examined by an expert who determined he was apt for surgery. He got his damaged bone and tissue removed and was fit with a temporary prosthetic while the new one was being designed and built by Veterinary Inclusive Prosthetics/Orthotics in Florida.
“At first he wanted to shake it off. However, after awhile he got used to it and even started putting weight on it. In the days following surgery, Dudley practiced standing, getting up and walking, all in an attempt to feel comfortable with his cast,” explained Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks about Dudley’s reaction when he woke up from surgery.
Short after, Dudley started physical therapy, E-stim, acupuncture and ultrasound to help strengthen his leg muscles.
“Dudley was very timid of humans when we met for good reasons. Each day he is truly becoming more and more brave. This week when the vet student bent down to clean his water bowl, Dudley went over to her and licked her face. Even though he has not lived the most ideal life until now, Dudley is still so innocent and curious. We cannot wait to show him the life he deserved all along. One day he will give and receive many hugs and the first year of his life will not even be remembered!” Laks added.
“This little cow is very special and has a big purpose. He will give hope to so many people who have physical challenges of their own. More importantly, he is setting the standard of the kind of care all farm animals should receive. He is helping us show people that we are all the same, even though we all look different, and are deserving of the same care, love, respect, and freedoms.”
Dudley’s prosthetic finally came at the end of last month. He will now have to stay at the University for a few more weeks while getting used to it and then he will be transported to California to start his new life at the Gentle Barn.