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Hi-Tech Surgery Provides Prosthetic Paw to Footless Pooch

 - Jan 14, 2009
References: technovelgy & stormtaylor
He may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he can lift his leg to pee without falling over. Storm is a Belgian Shepherd who had his paw amputated because of cancer. While dogs can do quite well with only three legs, his owners opted to follow the surgery with a prosthetic foot. An implant was attached to the dog’s forearm radius. Because it is a joint implant, it may be a model that can be used to help human patients who have lost a hand or foot.

The dog’s skin and fur have grown into the implant, making it more like part of his body. The replacement paw attaches to the implant allowing Storm to run and balance just as his natural paw would have done.

The technology used in the transplant was state-of-the-art and caught the interest of engineers, physicians, as well as veterinarians. A metal device based on the structure of antlers facilitates the skin-device interface and makes a seal designed to be impenetrable to bacteria, an important consideration for amputees.

Storm has recovered well and has his own webpage with family photos and other information.