Claude (calf) Arrived 12th October 2017
Claude was born on a dairy farm down south. He was born with a disability – he was wobbly. Standing up was a challenge and he experienced tremendous difficulty walking. In cases like Claude’s, farmers will usually shoot the disabled calf. In Claude’s case, some young backpackers working at the farm took it upon themselves to feed and look after him.
After some time the farmer decided that he no longer would allow the woofers to spend any more work hours caring for the calf, and that he would indeed shoot him. One of the young women contacted us, desperately trying to find a safe home for Claude.
After a long drive, Claude arrived at the sanctuary in the Happy Hooves van. Everyone fell in love with him instantly. The next day he was taken to our vet to determine the cause of his wobbly stance and poor motor skills to devise a treatment plan. As most calves with such an affliction are terminated at birth, most vets have not dealt with this condition. It was however suspected that Claude suffered from a brain lesion – though this would only be able to be confirmed through an autopsy.
We discovered that another sanctuary had rescued calf with a similar disorder to Claude; she had improved over time and was living a quality life. This gave us hope that Clause too could overcome his condition. Over time there were some small signs of improvement, we tried to remain positive but it was always in the back of our minds that he may not improve quickly enough, that as he grew, his ability to use his limbs would not improve fast enough to accommodate the increase in weight.
For the most part he seemed content, even happy. He loved a good cuddle and scratch, and enjoyed the company of the other animals in the nursery paddock – the older lambs and Jackson the kid, and even the resident sanctuary dog, Tank. Strangely he seemed to be able to run much better than he could walk, seeing him run around was such a wonderful sight.
Claude seemed to reach a point where he stopped improving, and then what we all dreaded began to happen – he went backwards. He no longer ran around, he found walking so tiresome that he would just sit down in the same spot for hours at a time. He no longer tried, it came to the point he wouldn’t even stand up for his bottle – he was clearly telling us that he had given up, he was defeated. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to let him go.
Claude had found a place in so many hearts and his passing at such a young age was especially hard. Rest easy beautiful boy.
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** Happy Hooves Farm Sanctuary – Where The Good Life Begins **