Beloit Daily News

Thursday - September 23, 1999

Surgery may be needed for very special buffalo

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) _ Miracle, the buffalo said to fulfill an American Indian prophecy when it was born white, has a sore foot that will require surgical repairs, a veterinarian says.

The buffalo, whose coat has since turned light brown, has been limping for about a month.

Val and Dave Heider, the owners, originally thought she had some sort of puncture in her hoof, but a veterinarian on Tuesday found that the problem was more serious.

She had developed a lesion in a toe joint on the right hind hoof, and it has become infected. Part of the bone around the joint has come loose, and the bone itself is slowly dissolving, said Tom Williams, a veterinarian with the Evansville Veterinary Service.

It is a common problem with cattle and buffalo because of the way their feet are made, and any number of things can cause it, Williams said.

When cattle develop the problem, owners typically have the toe amputated or send the animal to slaughter. Veterinarians could amputate Miracle's toe, but it would disfigure her somewhat.
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