The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine must have known these pictures would go viral the moment they posted them…
And of course, they did because who isn’t going to fawn over photos of a baby cow? But this little munchkin’s extra-special, because Lil’ Bill (formerly known as Woody) is what’s believed to be the world’s smallest cow. He was born on October 27, probably about a month early, and results from a DNA test could very well show that he suffers from some form of dwarfism.
But that’s still to be determined. What is clear is Lil’ Bill was experiencing some of the same health issues that human babies who are born prematurely have, including breathing problems. That prompted his owner Rebecca Hood to bring him to the University on November 1.
It’s a wonder this little guy’s still alive: A newborn calf typically weighs between 48 and 80 pounds, while Lil’ Bill was just about eight pounds!
Once Rebecca realized she couldn’t provide the level of care he needed, she allowed the college to adopt him. And he still has a ways to go, but Lil’ Bill is a tough guy and has passed some significant milestones during the last six weeks…
He no longer requires oxygen or a feeding tube, and his lungs and body are steadily growing stronger. His legs need support while they continue to grow, though, so he’s been outfitted with these custom-made splits, which we’re all just dying to sign.
Tiny as he is, he’s still a bundle of energy, though, and the casts don’t do much to slow him down.
“Other than sleeping a lot, which is normal for preemies, Lil’ Bill behaves much like most five-week-old calves,” said one of the vets, Dr. Gretchen Grisset. “Once awake, he trots around looking for attention, often head-butting team members to demand more milk!”
Lil’ Bill has shown an amazing will to survive and we’re all pulling for him. Fortunately, the good folks at MSU have promised to keep us posted on his progress:
Share to thank these vets for everything they’re doing to help this adorable preemie live a healthy, full life!
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