Floating hospital a lifeline for livestock

It comes to the rescue of animals suffering from flood-related diseases in Kuttanad

It was the bellows of his cow and the newborn calf that worried Joji Mathew most when floodwaters started to enter his house compound at North Veliyanadu in Kavalam last week.

At the time, the cow, which gave birth to the bull calf on October 11, was ailing and needed treatment to stand up.

“Although the floodwaters did not inundate the house and cattle shed, the entire area, including the roads, were submerged. I feared for the health of my cow as it was almost impossible for veterinary doctors to reach my home and provide treatment wading through the floodwaters,” says Mr. Mathew.

Help at hand

But all his fears soon faded away as veterinarians, part of a floating veterinary hospital of the Animal Husbandry Department, visited his place and attended to the ill cow even before the floodwaters began to recede. After getting treatment for days, the downer cow has slowly started to stand up on its own.

The latest bout of flooding in Kuttanad has affected not only humans but also livestock. With several animals suffering from flood-related diseases, the floating veterinary hospital has turned out to be a lifeline for livestock in waterlogged areas.

Following the floods, the floating hospital with doctors and medicines has traversed the Kuttanad region providing care to a large number of cattle and other animals.

“The recent flood has inundated a number of veterinary hospitals and clinics in Kuttanad and made them dysfunctional for several days. The floating veterinary hospital has, however, helped us to provide care and treatment to animals, including in remote areas of the region,” says an official.

Boat on lease

Although the floating hospital was launched a few years ago, it really flourished after the 2018 deluge. The department has leased a boat for this purpose.

“Earlier we had our own vessel, which functioned as the floating hospital. The boat was later condemned. Although there was a proposal to buy a new boat, the idea was dropped due to the exorbitant cost and the department leased a vessel,” the official adds.

Apart from floods, the floating hospital sails to different parts of Kuttanad thrice a week.

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