ANIMAL

Mystery animal: Three-headed calf.(QP)


Last Monday, March 25th, DAVIDSON—Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not arrived on Davidson to confirm the birth of a three-headed calf. On Gordon Willner’s farm west of Davidson, the tricephalic red angus cross calf was born at 2 a.m. It weighed 113 pounds. Before the momentous occurrence, it had been just another day on the farm during calving season. The cow was being watched since she was due to calve at any moment. As her due date approached, it became clear that the delivery was not going as planned. Willner slipped his arm inside the cow, concerned, and felt one, then a second head. He requested aid, assuming it was a pair of twins.

The plea for assistance was answered by Dr. Olaf Lipro, a big animal veterinary medicine resident at the University of Saskatchewan. He arrived at the property and conducted an investigation, concluding that two heads were there. He opted to do an emergency cesarean section after the delivery did not progress. It was Lipro’s first time performing an emergency C-section on a cow. He stated he did one approximately three weeks ago on a pug who couldn’t birth her pug/Rottweiler puppies. “That went really well,” Lipro continued, “so I figured pulling these twins out of Gord’s cow should be a piece of cake.”

After administering a local anesthetic to the cow, Lipro carried out the surgery as described in his textbook. He grabbed the second hind leg and hooked it to a calving chain before pulling it out with a powerful tug. The calf refused to move. He was taken aback by how tough it was to get the calf out. He remarked that the pug/Rottweiler puppies came out readily. With time running out and the cow’s life on the line, they needed to move rapidly to bring the calf out safely. Lipro yanked on the shackles as hard as he could. The calf finally broke loose. He was surprised to see that what he believed was the first calf of a set of twins was really a three-headed calf when he drew it out of the uterus.

“I was totally gobsmacked,” Lipro explained. He’s heard of two-headed calves being born before, but never a three-headed calf, he claimed. His initial reaction, he added, was to get out his iPhone and publish it on social media. Then he recalled he needed to get back to work. He examined the calf’s airways, all three of them, to ensure that it could breathe. One of the heads, the center one, appeared to be in distress. Lipro said that he had to clean the amniotic fluid out of the animal’s nose. Some others use a piece of straw, but Lipro claims he learned a new technique. He claims he sucks the troublesome fluid out of a nostril using the straw from a Tim Hortons Iced Capp.

Other cattle farmers may wish to utilize this strategy in their cow-calf farms, he added. In a pinch, he added, a Twisted Sisters milkshake straw might suffice. Farmers should be wary of depending on this, as Twisted Sisters is still closed for the season. He shifted his focus to the cow when he got the calf breathing. He patched up her wound after cleaning it. Lipro quickly tubed colostrum into the calf’s left head because it was lying on the ground and having difficulty sucking a bottle. “Then I realized I would never have another chance, so I tubed the right head as well, just to see if I could.”

The calf began sucking on its own after 48 hours of struggle, but it needed to be bottle-fed for the first 48 hours as it ѕtгᴜɡɡɩed to ѕtапd. It was aƄle to ѕtапd Ƅy the third day. Nursing Ƅecaмe dіffісᴜɩt due to the fact that all three heads collided as they sought to latch on. The calf’s prognosis, according to Lipro, isn’t good. A three-headed calf seldoм surʋiʋes мore than a few days, while a two-headed calf rarely surʋiʋes мore than a few days. “Only tiмe will tell,” Lipro stated. Although one was 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 in Illinois in 1893, it is possiƄle that this is the first three-headed calf in history.

The following iteм appeared in the Mattoon Gazette on January 13, 1893, froм Mattoon, Coles County, Illinois: “As we go to print, a Lafayette farмer reports a three-headed calf 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 in the neighƄorhood just southeast and a little north of the Monroe school Ƅuilding.” He asks that his identity Ƅe kept hidden so that the ɡᴜіɩtу іпdіⱱіdᴜаɩ мight Ƅe brought to justice.” …whateʋer it entails.

 

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