Posted on Apr 09, 2015
We are now in the most critical time for Dudley, getting his leg used to wearing a prosthesis. If we just put it on all day long, his leg will swell and develop blisters. It needs to be put on and taken off so that his leg adjusts to wearing it and giving his skin time to relax and breathe. Ronnie Graves from VIP Veterinary Prosthetics and Orthotics came up with a plan: we must take the prosthesis on and off every two hours during the day and off all night for the first week. For the second week, Dudley will wear the prosthesis for a few hours and off for shorter amounts of time until by the third week Dudley should be wearing his prosthetic foot all day and off at night. If we do this correctly, Dudley will be set up for success to wear the prosthesis comfortably for the rest of his life.
Because this process is so critical to Dudley’s entire future, Jay went to Tennessee to help. While he was there, he found a master saddle maker and seamstress who agreed to help design a slipper for Dudley to wear to protect his residual limb while he is not wearing the prostheses. When the prosthetic foot is taken off, the residual limb must be bandaged and protected so Dudley does not injure it. Wrapping the prosthesis is very time consuming and back breaking for the vets, and frustrating for Dudley because he does not like standing still or having his leg lifted for that long. The slipper will be easy and quick to put on and off and will be more enjoyable for the vets and for Dudley. It is being designed now and hopefully will soon be a perfect fit.
Meanwhile, Dudley is being taken for walks around the hospital for exercise. Dudley loves exploring and meeting the other residents of the hospital. Dudley is becoming quite the model citizen, halter trained, good boy! Dudley is happy and in a few weeks, once we get through this process, we can start thinking about Dudley leaving the hospital and moving on to his happily ever after: outside in the sunshine, eating grass, and playing with other cows!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn