Veterinary surgeons surgically removed 52kgs of plastic waste from a cow’s stomach in India in recent days.
The animal which underwent the operation – which lasted more than five-and-a-half hours – was brought to Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) in Vepery.
Her owner noticed that she was experiencing pain and was yielding a smaller quantity of milk than expected, despite calving twenty days prior to this.
“We could feel the presence of plastics even during a manual rectal examination. Plastics could have accumulated in the rumen over a period of two years,” P. Selvaraj, Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine told The Hindu.
“We conducted an x-ray and followed it up with an ultrasound scan and found that plastics occupied 75% of the rumen, one of the four chambers of the cow’s stomach.”
‘Long and complicated surgery’
Vets also told the publication that it was a “long and complicated” surgery as the waste was attached to the walls of the rumen.
Pins and needles were also found among the plastics. “In some cases, the needle could prove dangerous to the animal as it could move to the heart,” said Dr. Velavan.
After the surgery, the cow's rumen was filled with 5 kg of bran, jaggery and pro-biotic bolus, he added.
The animal has lost its cud and is, therefore, being treated with transplanted cud to rejuvenate its gut health for a minimum of five days.