Rescued calf Hero is fitted with £24,000 prosthetic legs after suffering frost bite
Surgeons at Texas A&M University have spent a year developing prosthetics
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Friday 23 May 2014
An abandoned double amputee calf has been fitted with high tech £24,000 prosthetic limbs after being rescued from a farm in Virginia and brought to Texas.
Surgeons at Texas A&M University have spent a year developing prosthetics for Hero, a 15-month-old calf who suffered from frostbite that claimed its hooves.
Kitty Martin, Hero’s caretaker, had appealed to surgeons for help after he grew out of the initial prosthetics they had provided for him.
After accepting Ms Martin’s pleas for help, the team removed about two inches of bone to enable them to create a pad of tissue that would allow for prosthetics.
“This is our first cow,” said Erin O’Brien, an orthotist and prosthetist for an Austin-based national firm that makes prosthetic limbs. She was among a team of eight working on the project.
“We did a lot of study of photos and video of cows just walking to see what it looks like and see if we can mimic that biomechanically,” O’Brien said. “It’s unusual, yes, but an opportunity.”
Hero’s hooves are made using urethane and titanium, while the connecting components are titanium and carbon fiber and the sockets that attach to his legs are carbon fiber and acrylic resin.
“Until I worked on him, I hadn’t ever done it before. And I’d not heard of [prosthetics] before in a bovine,” said Ashlee Watts, an equine orthopedic surgeon at the school.
Ms Martin has spent nearly $40,000 (£24,000) to save the calf.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” she said. “I’m an animal rescuer. And he had everything against him - it makes my day. He’s got a very bright future right now.”
- 1 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
RideLondon 2015: Cyclist dies while climbing highest hill in Surrey during sportive
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£19000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Finance & Administrative Exec...
£10000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital agency is looking ...
Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...