Sunday, February 14, 2016

Prosthetics Help Pets Find Balance

Back to News Stories

During a recent dog park visit, Sleuth the Reporter Dog met a puppy who was missing both left legs.   No surprise to Sleuth, this puppy was vibrant and full of life.   So, Sleuth dug up some information at the Veterinary News Network about prosthetics and pets.

1) Many pets lose a limb due to severe traumatic accidents or because of aggressive cancers.   Some dogs are even born without a complete set of legs.

2) Although these pets often appear to move well on three (or less) legs, veterinarians are concerned about the long term consequences of losing a leg.

3) Spinal problems can develop, arthritis is possible, and conditions such as hip dysplasia or cancer can actually worsen after an amputation.

4) In humans, prostheses are often used, but these are uncommon in pets.  Prosthetics are devices that replace missing body parts.

5) Some pets don’t tolerate the straps and buckles that accompany prostheses and some owners find the devices cumbersome.

6) New research is on-going in which titanium bone implants are used and the prosthesis is attached directly to the implant.

7) This technology is still very new, but holds a lot of promise for many pets and for human amputees as well.

8) Other prosthetic devices, such as rolling balls and even skis have been developed for pets missing their front legs due to a birth defect.

9) Hopefully, your pet will always be standing on four feet.  If amputation is necessary, ask your veterinarian about options to help your pet keep good balance.

10) Be sure to bookmark as your source of up-to-date and accurate pet health information.