By Sherry L. Granader
Prosthetics have been a solution for many people to improve the quality of their life. The same is true for our pets with innovative and orthotic solutions that are successful in giving animals a second chance in life. Prosthetics for pets provides many non-invasive options that can fit a variety of animals that offer them a normal life including any kind of deformity.
3D Printed Prosthetics
Animal Orthocare, LLC is one of the only companies that make 3D printed prosthetic and orthotic devices for animals. Their latest technology makes it possible for dogs and cats to walk again with more comfort and agility. Regardless if an animal is missing part of their legs, paws or toes, prosthetics are definitely an option. Derrick Campana, COO, the owner of Animal Orthocare, LLC started the company over ten years ago, offering medical-grade orthotics and prosthetics for both animals and people.
The process begins with casting the animal’s leg before making a mold using Plaster of Paris. The cast is then scanned into their computer software program that creates a three-dimensional print. Once the image is in the computer, the mold can be manipulated to fit the animal perfectly. This process allows them to create a prosthetic for a wide range of animals, from large to small. The possibilities are endless.
Qualified Orthocare Is A Must
With that said, it is still very important to know who are working with when it comes to prosthetic needs for your pet. The well-being and health of your pet depends on this very important decision. You need someone who can provide a bio-mechanically, safe solution that works for your animal. Look for a provider that is first and foremost a licensed Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine that can prescribe, design and dispense a custom orthosis to your pet.
The experience of helping your animal walk again or without difficulty is a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor. You must have someone that can ensure success and safety of the prosthesis chosen. In addition, they should be able to help your pet with pain management and other mobility solutions. Our pets are a part of our families and we should make them as comfortable and happy as possible while improving their quality of life.
Prosthetics Improve Quality Of Life
Seeing three-legged dogs and cats is no longer an unusual sight. In fact, many dogs and cats move normally with three legs, however it can take a toll on the spine and the other limbs due to their posture being rather abnormal or atypical. Animals can become prone to arthritis and other disc problems. Those with current problems such as cancer and hip dysplasia may do worse after amputation so prosthetics allow veterinarian surgeons to employ implants made out of titanium to attach to a pet’s leg bone.
“Socket” prosthetics are used when the stump of the appendage or limb is placed inside the prosthetic and held up using straps. Another option is osteo-integration or actually implanting prosthesis into the bone of a pet. This can give the animal a better sensation of feeling the ground. They work well with different terrains, environments and weather conditions. One of the concerns is that enough of the limb is left after amputation for better control of the device.
Watch the video about ‘Derby’ and how 3D Printed Prosthetics helped this dog run and play.
Concern for the costs and time involved is something that pet owners must deal with, however there are more and more options available for our four-legged friends. Any serious disease or trauma must be dealt with and talking to your veterinarian about the options available is key. Prosthetics are helping many pets live a happy and healthy life.
Reviewed and approved by Dr. David L. Roberts, DVM