A Brave Little Monkey Amputee

The following story was sent to us from Dr. Deepa Katyal in Mumbai, India.

injured monkey being fed by vetThis is the story of a little baby monkey, Choti, with one of the strongest wills to fight. The monkey was only about 1-month-old and weighed 980 grams (a little over 2 pounds) when she was brought to us. She suffered bad injuries on her hand after being badly mutilated by an aggressive male monkey. According to the rescuer who brought her in, the male monkey shook her by the leg several times after ripping her hand and then flung her into a body of water close by. The little girl suffered tears on her shoulder, thighs, face, and back. One leg had a broken femur bone, and the other had sciatic nerve injuries. On top of all that, her left shoulder was dislocated.

The wounds looked really bad and it was imperative to manage her pain, and to make her eat and take medication. After receiving and responding to the pain cocktail, Choti started eating. EmerAid was used as part of her recovery diet. Repeated dressing of her wounds made me concerned, especially with her left hand’s healing progress. The hand was getting gangrenous, so we decided to amputate it.

I want to thank each and every person who saw her and is praying for her recovery. A big thank you to Dr. Someshwar and Dr. Ashit Roa who spared their valuable time. Dr. Roa, thank you for your time for her surgery, which was so impeccable, while I was taking care of her anesthesia. My worries were her weakness and no available vein due to several injuries. Thank you also Stephen Cital and Mary Allen Goldberg for forever being there to guide me through these tough cases that take both a physical and emotional toll on me.

injured monkey wrapped in blanketEven more problems continue to be added to her long list of injuries, including her left leg seemingly losing the ability to feel pain. We have started acupuncture, cold lasers, electronic muscle stimulation, and physiotherapy, along with her pain meds.

Putting her down was an easier option considering her condition and future in the wild, but keeping the following in mind, plus her fighting spirit, gave me the courage to go ahead with her procedure.

  • A good rehab option provided by the forest department
  • Her turnaround with medication just two days after her terrible and painful injuries
  • Her surviving a major surgery such as this considering her weak condition
  • Her postoperative smooth recovery that led to her demanding food a few hours later

With great hopes of her getting better soon and leaving no stone unturned for her recovery, I pray for little Choti. Thank you is a small word for my colleagues Dr. Trisha, Dr. Krish Someshwar, Pawar Kaka, Siddhart, Rohita, Sameer Vohra from Kalote Farms, and Sahu for taking such good care of her, in spite of our crazy schedules.

Choti is now rehabbing in a Kalote farmhouse as she stills bears a slight neurological issue in her left leg. She has 26 dogs, pigs, emus, horses, cows, cats, and birds to keep her company. It is one of the toughest things in life for me to detach from these babies once they have recovered, but for their good and their future, it is a call I have to make.

Dr. Deepa Katyal
Mumbai, INDIA
Masters of Veterinary Studies (Australia)
Master of Veterinary Science (India), deepakatyal.com
Board of Director (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) USA