In the past few years, animals who have lost a limb or limbs have been given the chance for something more like a normal life thanks to revolutionary advances in animal prosthetics. Previously, animals who had suffered serious injury to a limb often ended up having it amputated; the loss of more limbs often meant euthanizing them, says Tech News Daily.
New “creature-tailored” prosthetics and orthotics have changed such bleak scenarios. Even more, prosthetics developed for animals are helping scientists develop better devices for humans. As Noel Fitzpatrick, a neuro-orthopedic veterinary surgeon based in the U.K. says to Tech News Daily, “one small step for a dog” can in fact end up as “one giant leap for mankind.”
Here are ten animals that, thanks to a lot of effort (their own and humans’), are able to get around again.
1. Yu the Loggerhead Turtle
A 25-year-old loggerhead turtle, Yu, has received her 27th pair of prosthetic limbs. Five years ago, she was seriously wounded in a near-fatal shark attack that left her with almost half her flippers torn away and bites all over her body, even her stomach. Yu fled into a fisherman’s net, apparently for help. She was found after washing up on the southern island of Shishoku. Thanks to the efforts of an an aquarium in Kobe, south Japan, flippers of rubber and wetsuit material were made just for her. She can swim and will, it is hoped, also be able to swim and burrow in the sand.
2. A Piglet With a Wheelchair Made Just For Him
Chris P. Bacon was born without the use of his back legs. While the little piglet’s name suggests a not very pleasant fate, he has been thriving thanks to a wheelchair constructed for him by a U.S. vet.
3. Chhouk the Cambodian Elephant
4. Zvika and Her Wheels
After being accidentally run over by a lawnmower and suffering a fractured shell and spine, an Istaeli turtle, Zvika, was outfitted with wheels to help her move around while recovering.
5. Chrisie the Sandhill Crane
Necessity is the mother of invention, as Wired notes: Lee Fox of Sarasota-based Save Our Seabirds created prosthetics using PVC pipe and a sink stop for injured sandhill cranes. The birds have large bodies but spindly legs and need both limbs to stay upright. After learning of prosthetist Kevin Carroll’s work with other birds, she asked him to look at the cranes she was helping; he made plaster casts of two of the sandhills’ legs for personalized prosthetics.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.