Last month, a German Shepherd mix puppy was lost in a backwoods of Kentucky, abandoned. There’s no easy way to say this: A coyote attacked him and bit off his left front foot.
Somehow, Bandit made it out alive. He was patched up and sent to Sweet Adoptables, a pet adoption agency. Staff members believed they’d have a better chance of adopting Bandit out if he had a prosthetic foot, so they contacting BioMetrics, a company in Trumbull, CT, that makes artificial limbs, according to the Connecticut Post.
It was the right place to call. Bandit got a new foot and a forever dad at the same place.
“When he came in to see us, we found out that he was up for adoption, so I adopted him,” said a technician at BioMetrics, Jeff Rubelmann, according to the Post. “And I made a prosthesis for him.”
Rubelmann has one hell of a heart. He made the prosthesis using the same procedure he would for a child, first making a plaster cast of Bandit’s leg. Wearing the device, Bandit races around like the young dog he is.
“It’s like it’s a part of him,” says Rubelmann.
Of course, the dog isn’t sold on the foot just yet — he repeatedly chews the straps when he’s lying down, and Rubelmann intends to tweak the design. But make no mistake: The device is necessary. Though he gets around fine indoors without the foot, Rubelmann says that when he runs outside “the fear is that he’ll damage his leg to the point that he’ll need a full front leg amputation.”
BioMetrics hopes Bandit will grow to accept his foot as his own.
“When you fit a prosthesis to a child, it soon becomes almost a part of his life,” company president Robert L. Dzurenda says. “So, we’re hoping that Bandit will take to his leg, too.”
Canine prosthetics is a largely new field, lagging behind procedures like hip and knee replacements in dogs. Dogs can get around fine when they lose a back leg, but the front legs are more problematic, according to Dr. Thomas A. Milos of the Shakespeare Veterinary Hospital, as 60 percent of their weight is carried by the front legs. And once you disturb a dog’s gait, a host of other problems can crop up, just as with humans.
Milos believes that canine prosthetics is an emerging field, and it will catch on just as hip and knee replacements did for dogs.
“The technology will come if there’s enough people willing to spend money on it, and more money gets behind it,” Milos said. “That’s what drives technology.”
Via the Connecticut Post