, June 25, 2024

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The Latest on Animal Prosthetics

  •   5 min reads
The Latest on Animal Prosthetics
by Mariana Burgos

Most of us see pets as more than just house guards at night or morning jog partners. They are the kind of friends who we should consider as family. Our dogs and cats deserve the utmost care, just like any member of our family.

We try our best as owners to keep them safe from danger. When they become ill, we provide them with additional sensitive loving care because we don’t want them to get hurt. Knowing your pet won’t be able to walk due to a broken leg, a birth deformity, or due to age is the worst nightmare you can imagine.

Beauty is an American Bald Eagle who was injured and lost its beak. She is now wearing a 3D prosthetic beak. (Proto from the article, New Limbs: Creative Thinking, 3D Printers Save Injured Wild Life.)

It’s wonderful that 3D printing can help them out and save the day. Animals, including pets, can benefit if something is effective for humans. In fact, 3D-printed prosthesis has allowed many injured animals to regain some level of function.

Dog and bird legs, among other things, have been made using 3D printing. Makeshift braces and carts, which we design to help them walk and function normally, are common treatments for broken legs. While this is all well and good, we also want to provide them with the comfort of utilizing prosthetics. Additionally, the results of these makeshift cures are just transient. They may potentially exacerbate your pet’s disease if they are created poorly.

Modern medical science has advanced artificial limbs to become sophisticated devices. Incredible advancements include motorized fingers that move when the wearer thinks about it, muscle-sensing devices, smart skin that restores a person’s ability to feel touch or pain after an amputation, and more.

An artificial limb can aid in the physical and psychological recovery of humans. Similar effects are felt by animals. When a carbon fiber limb is added to a three-legged dog, it gives it new youth and improves its physical and mental health. The default behavior for many animals with prosthetic limbs is to parade around as if nothing is unusual about their bodies. They don’t seem to care how their new limbs look and appear to be unaffected by the social constraints that frequently afflict humans who use similar technology. (3D2GoPhilippines, Life Changing 3D Printed Prosthetics for Your Beloved Pets, 28 July 2017)

Other animals benefitted from 3D prosthetics. (Animals-ranking-1280×720 —“More animals with 3D prosthetics.”—from Examples of how 3D printed prosthetics and orthotics are helping animals – 3Dnatives.)

Animal prostheses have drawn a lot of interest recently because of their use in the rehabilitation of wild animals. Wild animals find safety in the freedom of nature, whilst pets benefit from the security of human supervision. However, since they place so much reliance in the oceans, forests, and other environments, they become vulnerable to both natural disasters and threats caused by human activity. Prosthetics are only used as a last resort to help wild animals recover their health, and the chances of their surviving after one is frequently poor.

Among the most well-known prosthetic marvels from the wild are Beauty the bald eagle, who lost the upper portion of her beak after it was shot off by a hunter and who was eventually fitted with a nylon-composite replacement; Winter the dolphin, who lost her tail in a crab trap and later received a replacement made of plastic and silicone; and Chhouk the Asian elephant, who lost part of a front leg as a result of getting caught in a poacher. (Laurel Neme, Life and New Limbs: Creative Thinking, 3D Printers Save Injured Wild Life, 5 April, 2021)

The condition of your pet should be taken into consideration while designing pet prostheses. They should be able to move comfortably and freely based on the perfect fit. It goes without saying that you must pay close attention to your pet’s limb structure.

The utilization of 3D printing technology is a ground-breaking method of producing limb prosthetics that “follow the organic contours and smooth curves” of the legs of your pet, making it secure and pet-friendly.

This is a disabled dog with traditional prosthetics. playing in a park. (Photo from Dreamstine.com)

Additionally, 3D printing is the ideal option right now because it is more cost-effective and time-efficient than the conventional method of creating prosthetics.

Pets with disabilities in the Philippines can now benefit from 3D printing technology. Applications for 3D printing now include walking aids, prosthetics, and other items for our animal pals.

In the Philippines, 3D2Go is the only one-stop store for all things related to 3D printing. With a streamlined procedure that ensures a high-quality finished product, the company provides end-to-end full-service scanning, prototyping, and printing.

You may follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Quora if you’re interested in receiving updates and more information about 3D printing. (3D2GoPhilippines, Life Changing 3D Printed Prosthetics for Your Beloved Pets, 28 July 2017)

A ‘bionic’ cat now walks on 3D prosthetic hind legs. (Photo taken from WIRED.)

The technology behind animal prostheses is advancing quickly since they are a relatively new occurrence. The tales of how cherished pets and injured wild animals received their substitute parts will always exist behind the technical and medical wizardry of these artificial devices, nevertheless. These stories are anything but typical and demonstrate the ability of technology and compassion to revive the spirits of ill animals.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 14 years now because she is wife to a desaparacido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard

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