Jake The Bionic Dog

 |  Dec 2nd 2008  |   2 Contributions


Okay, not like Jamie Summers, but he did have an elbow replacement. Jake is an 11-year old Labrador Retriever, he is only the eleventh dog in the world to have this surgery. He lives in Grand Rapids, MI and was the first dog to get the procedure in the Midwest.

Sue Falk, his owner, was originally worried Jake might need to be euthanized from the pain he was experiencing. Then she was referred to MSU and met with Dr. Loic Dejardin, who performed the four-hour surgery in April.

Now, after six months of rehabilitation that includes running on an underwater treadmill, Jake is giving high fives, jumping off the bed and going without his leash.

"He's actually acting like he's a younger dog again, which is so cool," owner Sue Falk said. "He's just more playful and not as concerned about each step."

Jake's turnaround is a dramatic difference from several years ago, when he had a bad limp and refused to go on daily walks in the woods behind Falk's home.

The prosthesis is a new type that reduces infection as well as wear and tear. Surgery didn't come cheap, it was $5000 and performed at the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Amazingly, the elbow has worked so well in dogs that it's being considered for use in ankle replacement in humans.

* Photo Courtesy T.J. Hamilton/Press Photo

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