Comments on the dilemma in the November/December issue: ‘Fate of a severely lame cow’

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The dilemma in the November/December issue concerned a severely lame cow with deep digital sepsis. It had lost a lot of condition and was 10/10 lame. Despite your opinion that euthanasia was the best option, the farmer wanted it taken to slaughter, following a digital amputation and some fattening-up (In Practice, November/December 2014, vol 35, pp 526-527). Suggesting a way forward, Gwen Rees stressed the importance of frank communication as a first step, both to explain exactly why digit amputation was not in the cow's best interest, and to maintain a positive farm/vet relationship. Failing this, she suggested that a second opinion, done in a timely fashion, should be sought. Finally, contacting the RSPCA or the police should be a last resort. She also suggested that there might be a deeper welfare issue at the farm that should be investigated.

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