A formerly abused amputee dog has regained the ability to walk thanks to a series of groundbreaking prosthetic implant surgeries.
Triumph, a 4-year-old Siberian husky found on the side of a road in Adana, Turkey, with both her hind legs cut off, is the first canine to receive permanent prosthetic legs, according to Denver’s Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. Triumph was adopted by a woman in Nashville, Tenn., and taken to Robert Taylor, DVM, who performed the surgeries.
The task of developing custom artificial legs and surgically implanting them began more than a year ago and required a three-phase approach. The initial implants for Triumph’s back legs were provided in late 2005.
In 2006, Triumph returned to Colorado for follow-up visits and improvements. The most recent and final phase included another adjustment surgery in December.
Triumph’s implant surgeries are now complete and she is walking and running every day with her new legs, according to the hospital.
Taylor had the help of some key companies to give Triumph her permanent prosthetic legs, including Ultramet, which made the porous tantalum body for the implant, and BioMedtrix, which helped with the design.
The material used to make the implant is called Trabecular metal, which resembles bone more closely than other prosthetic materials, Taylor said. Because the material is about 87 percent porous, he said, it allows greater bone in-growth. “Triumph’s journey has been truly amazing and inspiring, and I feel lucky to have been part of her success story,” Dr. Taylor said.
“As the first dog to receive the permanent artificial legs, Triumph is paving the way for many other amputee dogs to receive the same treatment and enjoy a life filled with running, playing and walking.”
At press time, two other dogs—a bloodhound and a Labrador retriever—were scheduled to undergo similar surgeries at Alameda East.
A panda rescue center in China has also contacted Taylor about looking into creating an artificial paw for an injured female who lost her right forelimb in a fight.
Alameda East is the clinic featured in the Animal Planet cable television program “Emergency Vets.”
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