New shoes help Trevor the turkey chick to walk
Trevor the turkey chick could well be forgiven for being confused with his webbed feet that make him walk more like a duck.
But his 'slippers' have been specially made to cure a problem of severely curled-up toes and have saved his fluffy little life.
Now the latest treatment at the Animal Medical Centre, in Chorlton, Manchester, could become standard with vets across the country. Scroll down for more...
Trevor, just three days old, was born with 'scrunched-up' toes, which made it difficult to walk.
Vet Pip Boydell, a partner in the treatment centre, said: "The traditional method of dealing with a problem like this is to apply a small wooden splint to straighten the toes.
"We tried that with Trevor, but it wasn't effective, so we had to come up with something else.
"In the end, it turned out to be creating false webbed feet by using board and surgical tape. Scroll down for more...
"It might cause temporary confusion, but we have effectively given him a life, because he can get to his food and compete with his fellow chicks in the normal way.
"He should only have to put up with it for a week or two, then the pads can come off and he'll be left with perfectly normal straight turkey toes.
"In commercial breeding concerns, chicks like this would either be killed or die later due to difficulties getting about.
"As their body weight increases, it would become almost impossible to keep mobile."
Trevor is owned by Pip's business partner Rachel Pike, who incubates turkey eggs and rears chicks as a hobby.
The chick will luckily escape the carving knife this Christmas. Rachel said: "It takes 140 days for a bird to reach the point where it can be eaten, and happily for Trevor he's going to be timed out.
"He'll probably end up just wandering around the place like other assorted animals we have acquired." Scroll down for more...
Pip, a neuro-opthalmologist, says he will now use the technique with other winged patients and make sure the word is spread.
He said: "We pride ourselves on pioneering some very complicated procedures here, but we often return to basics, which can be just as much fun. I will probably present the technique to fellow vets at various meetings."
Vets from across the country send casualties to the Animal Medical Centre, which has led the way with medical techniques normally used on humans including endoscopes, CAT scans, and even using contact lenses to protect dogs' eyes following surgery.
It has also been at the forefront of treating cancer in animals with the biological therapy interferon, which Pip predicts will soon be as important as penicillin is in treating humans. The centre, which has been expanded with a twin site in Rotherham, was the subject of a 'docu-soap' called Supervets, which was aimed at giving viewers an insight into vets' lives.
New shoes help Trevor the turkey chick to walk | the Daily Mail
Sorry Mods, I only know the turkey's first name