Modern medicine: Falling prices up interest in prosthetic limbs for pets

While many pets do well with a missing limb after an injury or illness, veterinarians and pet-lovers have long been interested in pursuing other possibilities for these animals. The falling prices of 3-D printing are bringing new possibilities into range.

From Veterinary Practice News:

Prosthetics can be used for a wide variety of conditions, such as birth defects, injury, or osteosarcoma.

“There are a number of important factors in determining whether an individual patient is a candidate for a device,” said Patrice Mich, DVM, DABVP, DACVAA, DACVSMR, CCRT, of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colo. “A proper diagnosis, biomechanical assessment, and case analysis for appropriateness of prosthesis are required to improve success.”

OrthoPets of Westminster, Colo., works with 20 veterinary rehab clinics on such cases. Prosthetics comprise about 25 percent of the company, orthotics 
75 percent.

“We’re able to help our patients have a longer, active life,” said Amy Kaufmann, CEO of OrthoPets.

The company has worked on more than 15,000 animals (30 species) from around the world, including pets such as Star, a 7-year-old German shepherd, that lost part of her right hind leg at birth, and Naki’o, a red heeler cattle dog, dubbed by media outlets in 2011 to be the first dog to be fitted with a complete set of four prosthetic paws.

The entire article is well worth a read.


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