Novel Prosthetic Limb Planned For Dogs

A puppy that was saved from the desert in Kuwait and taken to the United States is a candidate for a novel prosthetic limb that attaches permanently to the bone.

Animal welfare group Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) found the dog hobbling near Kuwait city and rescued her. Sally, a Saluki, was suffering from a severed left hind leg. Kuwaiti vets wanted to amputate the remaining part of the leg, and PAWS officials consulted their own vets in the United States. PAWS vets backed the treatment but also pointed out that Sally was a good candidate for a novel prosthetic approach which would prevent her from losing the leg.

In the following days, Sally was flown to Fort Collins where Veterinarian Robert Taylor has been working on a new kind of prosthetic limb for dogs, which might one day lead to improvements for humans. Since cats and dogs don’t take well to "strap-on" limbs, Robert Taylor has been looking at ways to permanently attach limbs. One concept involves inserting a metallic implant at the bone, attaching an artificial limb to the implant, and then allowing bone to grow around it – and this has been given the term "in-grown" limb. Such work is estimated to cost around $5000.

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