Animals with prosthetic limbs

Until a few years ago, there wasn't much hope for these and other disabled animals of ever leading normal lives again. But thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, and the small but growing field of animal prosthetics, it's now possible for pets and farm animals with missing limbs to walk, run and romp on all four legs.

OrthoPets, in Denver, manufactures prosthetics and braces for about 1,200 animals worldwide each year. Most are dogs, but they've also worked with cats, cows, birds, llamas, horses, even an orangutan. 

The external prosthetics are built to "last a lifetime" by using tough industrial grade plastic. To combat chafing and irritation the devices are lined with special colour-changing foam that turns black, alerting owners if a problem arises. 

For an animal to be outfitted with an artificial limb, which is attached with straps, front legs must still have the elbow joint and part of the radius and ulna. The knee joint, as well as part of the tibia and fibula, must be present on rear legs. 

Prosthetics for cats and dogs cost between R6 0000 and R10 000. The price for larger animals, such as cows, llamas and horses, can be up to R21 000.

Credit for info and pics: All thanks to
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