A paralysed calf has been given a second chance at life after her adoptive owners concocted an ingenious contraption to get her on her feet.
- Buttons the calf was born with no movement in her hind legs
- A Strathmerton family adopted the 7-week-old calf and is helping her get around in a homemade wheelchair
- It is hoped Buttons will one day be able to walk
Buttons the shorthorn calf from Strathmerton in northern Victoria was born without the use of her back legs due to a neurological condition.
So the 7-week-old calf’s new owners made her a makeshift wheelchair with parts mainly found at the local op shop.
Kellie Payne, who adopted Buttons, said the calf’s original owners did not have the resources to properly care for Buttons and had planned to put the animal down.
“We just wanted to give her a bit of a chance of a normal life,” Ms Payne said.
Receiving acupuncture as treatment
Vets believe Buttons’ neurological condition is linked linked to trauma at birth.
The calf lost the ability to bear weight and was initially put in a sling that helped her stand and support her back legs.
But Ms Payne said it was not helping her gain muscle and opted for a $10 second-hand wheelchair instead.
“We changed a few things on it and now she gets around like it’s no one’s business,” she said.
The calf has been getting physiotherapy up to three times a day and will receive acupuncture this week, along with routine bottles and butt washes.
Ms Payne said their biggest issue now was the thought of Buttons outgrowing her wheelchair.
“If she can’t learn to put weight there and move the legs properly, we’re going to have to think of alternatives,” she said.
“We’ve got a lot of people praying for her and sending healing vibes and donations to get her through it. So she’s very much loved.”
Hopes calf will one day walk
Ms Payne said she was hopeful Buttons would eventually be able to walk without any support.
“Since we’ve had her she is starting to get a bit of movement and reaction, like when you touch the base of her hoof,” she said.
“The vet came out two weeks ago and said if she didn’t improve she would possibly ‘help her cross the rainbow bridge’.