Tamil Nadu

Jersey cow turns productive after complex surgery

The cow from Karanodai that underwent surgery.

The cow from Karanodai that underwent surgery.  

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The animal gives birth to a calf, yields more milk now

The two-year old Jersey cross-breed cow that could not reproduce because of congenitally fused labia vulva would have landed in an abattoir, but for the intervention of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Tanuvas) veterinarians, who have not only saved the animal, but have also paved the way for it to reproduce through artificial insemination. “It delivered a female calf on August 26 and yielded four litres of milk. The yield would have increased now,” said S. Balasubramanian, director of Clinics, Tanuvas, who performed the vulva re-constructive surgery.

The cow, owned by Gurunathan Reddiyar from Karanodai near Chennai, had 75% of its vulva fused since birth and struggled to even urinate. It had a two-cm opening at the end of the vulva, which was 12 cm away from the anus. The surgery was done on November 26, 2018. Sakthivel, son of Gurunathan Reddiyar, said the yield had increased to five litres a day post surgery.

“Even we cannot believe our eyes. The animal recovered quickly from the surgery and was ready for artificial insemination in 20 days. We could even fix the date for the birth of the calf,” said Dr. Balasubramanian, who did a similar surgery in 1991.

Second surgery

His breakthrough surgery of 1991 was reported in Veterinary Record, a prestigious journal published from the U.K. His achievement has been quoted in India and abroad. “This case is unique in the sense that it had only one slit. Others cases had openings in beginning and in the end. I had to reconstruct the entire vulva,” said Dr. Balasubramanian.

University Vice-Chancellor C. Balachandran took personal interest in the case and visited the animal when it was brought for treatment. Subsequently, a presentation was made about the surgery at the Indian Society for Study of Animal Reproduction by A. Reshma, a postgraduate student.

Dr. Balasubramanian said he followed caudal epidural anaesthesia for the animal so that surgery could be done in a standing position. “Our objective is to ensure that the animal’s limbs are not affected during surgery,” he said. Acknowledging the cooperation extended by the animal’s owner, he said he constantly updated the condition of the animal through WhatsApp.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:26:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jersey-cow-turns-productive-after-complex-surgery/article29545016.ece

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