Birth defects and serious injuries often cause some animals to lose body parts that they cannot live without. Bones, shells and even beaks have been rebuilt thanks to friendly people and technological advances. Read this article to find out which prosthetic animals have been given a second chance at life.
It is nowadays common to see dogs in wheelchairs. Mobility is no longer a problem for the welfare of these animals.
These advances have not only been beneficial to pets – many wild animals have been able to survive thanks to prostheses. The prostheses often have to undergo maintenance, and most of these animals can therefore not return to the wild, and must live with humans for the rest of their lives.
There are companies that are engaged in developing prostheses for animals. Below we take up examples of animals with prostheses:
Winter is a dolphin that was found off the coast of North America when she was very young. The vets tried everything, but her fin was so damaged that she ended up losing it. A while later, some scientists made her a new fin, which is the first of its kind.
A film was also made about Winter’s situation. It was such a success that they made a sequel a few years later. Thanks to Winter, there are now more animals with similar prostheses.
The cat Oscar, also known as the “bionic cat”, was involved in an accident, after which both his legs were amputated. When they found him, he was so injured that they thought hope was out for him.
The vet who took care of him understood that he would not be able to recover. With the help of two universities, however, they not only managed to save Oscar’s life, but also give him two new legs so that he could have a normal life. The same technology used at the Oscars is now used on humans.
After being shot by poachers, the Eagle Beauty lost most of its beak. This body part is important for the animal to be able to eat and clean itself. However, her vet wanted to do everything to fix the beak.
An engineering company helped do something that had never been done before. They managed to rebuild Beauty’s beak. She can now live a normal life, eat herself and clean her feathers like any eagle. This type of reconstruction has opened up new avenues for animals with prostheses, especially for birds.
Photos at the beginning of this article are of the tortoise Septimus, which was attacked by rats when he was lying in bed and could not defend himself. When they found him, the rats had done so much damage to his front legs that they could not help but amputate them.
Luckily, his owner had some wheels from a model plane that he attached to the turtle’s body with the help of a veterinarian. Septimus had survived and he can now run even faster than before.
Then the alligator Mr. Stubbs was small, he lost his tail during a fight. He was found several years later. The wound had then already healed, but had serious side effects. Without the tail, he could not dive below the surface to hide, which meant he had to spend his entire life on the surface without being able to hunt like the rest of the alligators.
Mr. Stubbs is the first alligator to receive a prosthesis, and he has managed to adapt well. However, he has once again learned how to swim, as he has not practiced this for many years.
Thanks to some skilled and creative people, as well as companies that specialize in 3D printing, there are now many animals with prostheses around the world. The situations that previously threatened the animal’s life are nowadays only minor obstacles.