FREEMARTIN - A TRUE STORY



    FREEMARTIN – A TRUE STORY    

I still remember some of my touching experience which I had during the beginning of my  career    when I  took over  my role as an Insurance Vet.  I  had settled many claims of animals towards death, accident, infertility and euthanasia for incurable sufferance. But  one claim  always lingers in my mind.
One of my office days I could see an old lady standing in a corner, with so much of reluctance to approach me.  It was sad to witness the grief stricken face and I could feel the trouble leaving deep traces on her withered face. ...
“Who is she?” I asked my assistance.
“She is one of our customer, has been coming to office quite some time to make a claim. It seems she has some trouble with the cow she had purchased” he said.
I stood up, went near to her and asked her politely “Ma (referred to a mother like person), tell me what’s your problem?”
“ Beta (referred to a son like person), I have purchased a cow through a bank loan, and I am told that she was pregnant and will deliver a calf within a month.  More than three months are over now ,but my cow still has not given me a calf. Every day I wake up with a dream that I will make up my life with this cow, calf and pay my dues by selling her milk. My days are painful…” She said.
She continued, “I don’t know why god is so unkind to me.  Somebody said an insurance company veterinarian can be of some help, and can arrange  compensation. That’s why I have been coming here. I don’t even want any money from you, but at least come and tell me when my Laxmi ( as she named the cow) will deliver the calf, please!”
“I will definitely come ’’ I said, advising her to go back to her home.
I went to her place the very next day, could see how poor she was, living in a hut but still trying to maintain the animal by feeding and gathering grass.
I put on my Gynaec gloves, examined the animal which was a heifer (referred to an adult female which has never delivered a calf earlier).
To my surprise, I could discover the animal as a Freemartin female.
When cattle species deliver twins, if they are of different gender say one male and another one a female , the female will be a freemartin which may look physically little masculine  but  can’t become pregnant as she will be left out with a dormant uterus and suppressed reproductive organs. This is due to  an interaction of male hormone against the female during gestation.Such animal will grow normally but will be sterile.
Unfortunately the poor lady was cheated by a cow vender , showing a bulky stomach by temporarily over feeding the animal as though to look pregnant.
I knew that the animal can’t get pregnant and I know that the claim also can’t be settled, because such animals can’t be insured against productivity.
But my conscious told me that I should help the poor lady and I should never disappoint her for no fault of her.
I managed to tell her the truth and told her to meet later in my office.
I convinced my team head and explained the uncertainties that existed in her life and got approved the claim.
I told her while giving the money that she should get a good cow duly examined by a vet, and wished her to have a happy life.
I could see her tears as a reflection of her gratitude and she told me, “I see the god through you, I will get a new good cow, but I will never leave my Laxmi (the freemartin)”

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