13 Animals Given a New Lease in Life with Prosthetics
Here are 13 great stories of animals getting back on their feet, fins, and wings thanks to their new prosthetics.
What are animal prosthetics made of?
Animal prosthetics can be made from various materials depending on the design and need for the prosthetic. For example, some prosthetic limbs can be made from plastic or titanium either molded or more usually, 3D printed.
Other prosthetics, like new tails for alligators and fins for dolphins, can be created using rubber.
What are some interesting examples of animal prosthetics?
So, without further ado, here are 13 interesting examples of animal prosthetics. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. This vet gave a parakeet prosthetic wings
After its owner overzealously clipped its wings, this vet gave a tortured parakeet a new lease in life. The parakeet kept repeatedly falling to the ground after the unfortunate event.
The twelve-week old parakeet called Wei Wei was given a set of new artificial feathers and, within hours, was back in the air once more. The vets at The Unusual Pets Vets in Brisbane, Australia performed the novel feathery-fix earlier this month.
The prosthetic wings were donated to the veterinary surgery and were cleaned, sterilized and dried before being used. The base of each clipped feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick attached to the new feathers which were then glued into place.
2. This quadriplegic cat was given titanium 3D printed legs
After suffering from a serious case of frostbite, this cat was given a set of 3D printed titanium legs to get back on its paws. The cat, called Dymka, is now the world's second recipient of such artificial animal limbs.
Dymka was found shivering in the snow by a passer-by when she was taken to a local veterinary clinic to save her life. Veterinarians and researchers from Russia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) rapidly moved to save her life and limbs.
After amputating the damaged parts of her legs, the team took CT scans of her limbs using x-rays. These scans were then used to design the prosthetic limbs prior to them being grafted to her leg stumps.
3. This vet has given thousands of animals prosthetic limbs
A vet from Sterling, Virginia, Derrick Campana, has given thousands of animals another shot at life by giving them prosthetic limbs. Campana creates braces and other artificial limbs to help give his patients back their mobility and quality of life.
"His practice, Animal Ortho Care, located in Sterling, Virginia, sends out kits to veterinarians and pet owners so they can cast molds of their patients or pets. Once the casting kits are returned, Campana crafts a personalized brace, or prosthetic, out of thermoplastic material. " - msn.com.
4. This eagle was given a prosthetic beak
A bald eagle, called Beauty, lost most of its beak when it was shot by a poacher. Three years later a group of researchers worked tirelessly to design and create a new prosthetic beak for Beauty.
Being key to its survival, the new beak has allowed the eagle to once again feed itself. Normally birds like this, that need to be hand-fed, are typically euthanized.
5. This elephant was given a new prosthetic foot
A fifty-year-old elephant called Motala lost his foot when he accidentally stepped on a land mine. Thankfully, the elephant lives in Thailand which is one of the few countries in the world with a dedicated elephant hospital.
After being treated for his wounds, his carers designed and created an artificial prosthetic replacement for his lost foot.
6. This dolphin was given a new prosthetic tail
After losing 75% of its fin from a necrotic disease, this dolphin was given a new one. Bridgestone, the company famed for making car tires, helped design and create the new tail fin for the unfortunate Cetacean.
Fuji, the dolphin's name, is now the first dolphin in history to receive such a prosthetic fin.
7. This horse was given a new prosthetic leg
A horse, called Riley, lost one of its hindlimbs after it started to deteriorate after being treated with a contaminated metal plate. Because of the injury, the mare was scheduled to be euthanized by its owners.
But the sanctuary staff decided to try something different and gave her an artificial limb instead.
8. This tortoise was given a set of wheels to get around
Tuly the tortoise lost one its forelimbs when it was chewed off by a rat as the tortoise was hibernating. Thankfully, there was a happy ending as Tuly was given a toy tractors wheel to replace its lost limb.
9. This cat received tow new leg after a combine harvester accident
Oscar, the cat, appears to have used up a few of its nine lives after a horrible encounter with a combine harvester. The wounded Oscar was found by a passer-by who took him to a local vet.
After a series of x-rays were taken, two prosthetic limbs were created for Oscar before he was returned to his owners.
10. This homeless received a new home and a new leg
Cassidy the dog was found wandering the streets alone underweight and less one rear leg. One local family found Cassidy and decided to them a new home.
Not only that but after some research, they found a facility that could create a prosthetic limb for the dog.
11. This stork received a new beak too
A stork called Uzonka had their beak badly damaged by an unknown animal abuser. Thankfully after a series of surgeries, Uzonka was given a new prosthetic beak to replace their old damaged one.
12. This alligator received a new prosthetic tail
An alligator called Mister Stubbs, lost a large portion of its tail during a fight with another alligator. After being discovered in an illegal shipment of exotic animals a team of experts gave Mister Stubbs a new 1-meter long rubber prosthetic tail.
13. This tiger received a new prosthetic hip
And finally, this unfortunate tiger received a new prosthetic hip after suffering from a serious case of arthritis. Called Girl, the tiger underwent a three-hour procedure back in 2011 to receive the new hip that was originally designed for dogs.