Disabled calf nursed by Strathy farmer

By Geoff Adams

A severely disabled Shorthorn calf has been given a new lease on life thanks to a Strathmerton farmer with a modified human wheelchair.

Buttons, the six weeks old calf, had little hope of survival after the original owner found she was not able to support her whole hindquarters.

She had apparently suffered some sort of neurological damage at birth and couldn't move her hind legs.

Her owners despaired of any remedy until Kellie Payne, a noted animal rescuer, offered to take the disabled calf.

Kellie made a bed for her in a sheltered spot in a shed, gives her massage therapy up to three times a day, and came up with an idea to modify a wheelchair to enable the calf to move about.

“She used to use a sling just to stand, then I thought a wheelchair would be better as she would be building up muscle in her legs at the front.

“She now has freedom to go where ever she wants.

“Bear our three year old Cavalier comes over every morning while I give her a bottle and clean her up and do her physio on her!

“After that we put her cream on her bottom we get her in her wheel chair! She really loves it. She is very sociable and is able to go where ever she wants except four wheel driving!”

Rescuer Kellie Payne with Buttons.

Kellie acknowledges that the long term prognosis is not good, and the wheelchair will only be useful for a while, but she hopes Buttons will somehow improve to the point where her legs can carry her weight.

“We will continue doing what we are doing with her until the time comes when she is too big or really not responding! But till then I’m not giving up on her!" Kellie said.

Button uses the wheelchair to chase the two Cavaliers, Bobo and Bear and the farm's four kelpies, Shocker, Tiny, Dusty and Rusty, as well as their pet sheep on the Strathmerton beef farm.

Kellie would like to hear from anyone who has any ideas to help with Buttons’ therapy: [email protected]