Blogger Dogger’s Editorial Note:
Hey everyone! Elliott here! I’m not sure if you’ve been watching the news lately, but there’s been some interesting developments in the world of prosthetics for pets. One story has been made into a book called “Beauty and the Beak” about an eagle with a prosthetic beak. I get around just fine on my 3 legs, but Beauty couldn’t eat without her beak, until a lot of people helped her! This inspired the JTF writers to write the blog below and it inspired me to… well… just feel darn good!
PS – If you’d like to learn more about Beauty and the Beak, check out this free download from homeschool.com.
In the midst of an explosion of development in technological advancement of adult and child prosthetics, pet lovers and engineers alike have brought these advancements along to animals.
From prosthetics for pets like puppies and kittens to wheel-limbs for turtles, it’s beginning to “sink in” that our animal counterparts aren’t able to cry or protest the pain like humans can. Thanks to great veterinarians providing surgical help and medicine, our 4-legged friends have a chance to recover. And when an injury results in limb loss, an increasing number of options are becoming available to help these animals by fitting them with prosthetics. Although the animal prosthetic industry is still young, it is rapidly growing; in this blog post, we’re going to show you some of the coolest that we’ve seen.
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary provides a safe place to live for farm animals who come from bad homes. In addition to nursing them back to health, they fit the amputee animals with prosthetics – and some with 3-D printed prosthetics to give them the opportunity to keep up with their fellow animals. Skip to 1:10 to see Felix the Goat getting his prosthetic and– lets hear it for dignity and respect for all living beings. Good job, Woodstock Sanctuary!
Just like human patients consult with orthopedic doctors and prosthetists when being fitted for a prosthetic, animals see veterinarians and connect with companies such as OrthoPet when being fitted for their prosthetic. Companies like OrthoPet aim to improve their patient’s quality of life through innovative prosthetics for pets & orthotic solutions, and receive in-depth training on the biomechanics of orthotic and prosthetic devices through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute V-OP course, and other similar courses dealing in a range of animal anatomy.
One animal orthoptist in particular, Derrick Campana of Animal Ortho Care, has outfitted a wide range of animals- from eagles, to horses, to elephants and a lot of things in between. There is something special about Derrick, and if you spend any time purusing social media, you may have seen him before. Take a look at how Derrick and an advanced plastic prosthesis helps Hudson the dog regain his life of running, jumping and just plain feeling good.
The prohibitive cost of child prosthetics means that many children who deserve them go without. Donate to The Jordan Thomas Foundation, and help us in our journey to bring greater parity to child prosthetics.
We’ve talked about prosthetics for pets people usually have; but what about animals with claws, hooves, or webbed feet? Are they able to be fitted for prosthetic devices as well? Of course! If you’ve viewed some of the videos and links we’ve shared in this article, you’ll have seen a few examples of this. The JTF Blogger Dogger – who doesn’t sport any artificial limbs or prosthetic devices, but enjoys life just the same, introduced a new book called Beauty and the Beak about an eagle named Beauty that acquired a new “top beak” prosthetic making her able to eat independently again. (Download a free printable Beauty and the Beak education guide!)
But to top it all off, here’s Buttercup the Duck taking his first steps on a webbed prosthetic. Sweet Buttercup was born with a birth defect in a high school science lab. Thanks to Jennifer & Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary and a team of loving humans, Buttercup can now paddle anywhere her duckie heart desires. All anyone needs to get through the rough spots in life is the words, “I care,” and sometimes, we just need to take each other under our wings.
Unfortunately, costs of pet prosthetics are prohibitively expensive- just like child prosthetics. However, as the techniques become widely known, and the demand increases, the cost of these prosthetics is likely to drop dramatically, making it a more available and widely used option for pet owners. Someday soon, it’s possible that your vet can be in a position where they can easily recommend prosthetics- and you would be in an easy position to afford them.