Dr Tapesh Mathur is a veterinary surgeon employed with the state animal husbandry department. In extreme cases, it is part of his job to amputate limbs of animals to save their lives which met with an accident.
However, just saving life is not enough for this animal lover. He wants them to walk again. The plight of these animals led him to think of prosthetic limbs for animals.
The artificial limbs, known as ‘Krishna limbs’, has now fitted on 35 cows and 2 dogs. The name ‘Krishna’ came from the name of three-year-old male calf whose forelegs he amputated and implanted with an artificial limb for the first time.
Tapesh, who is exhibiting artificial limbs at the ongoing Gram 2016, said, “The idea of artificial limbs came to my mind during my stint at Hingonia gaushala in 2013.”
Hingonia gaushala in Jaipur is the largest cow shelter in Rajasthan. Grievously injured animals in accidents were brought to the gaushala and many a time, he had to amputate the legs of the animals to save them. “After the amputation, the plights of the animals became worse as it cannot move,” he says.
Tapesh says now he gets orders from not only Rajasthan but from other states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh etc. “Recently, I got a call from Andhra Pradesh to make a limb for a horse which I have never done before. Though I was invited by the Uttarakhand government to make a limb for the famous police horse ‘Shaktiman’ whose one leg was amputated following an injury in a BJP agitaion, the condition of the horse deteriorated I reached there,” he says.
Tapesh says one problem in attending to out of state cases is the travel involved.
“Measurement is the key in the making of limbs,” he says. “If proper measurement is not taken, all efforts go in vain. So I cannot leave it to anybody else. I had to go personally to take the measurement and had to travel again with the limbs made as unlike humans these animals cannot be brought here,” he says. He said after the implant, two weeks of physiotherapy is also crucial for rehabilitation of the animal. Besides, prosthetic limbs had to be removed at night.
He said he uses polypropylene which is not only temperature resistant but strong to bear the weight of the animals. The cost of one artificial limb costs about 4,000 to 5000 which he does through public contribution.
News Source: Times of India