First 'Bionic' Dog Has Four Prosthetic Limbs
From dolphins missing their tails to horses unable to trot, custom-fitted animal prosthetics are becoming more and more common. Take a look at some of the prosthetics giving animals of every shape and size a second chance at leading an active life.
Fuji, a female bottlenose dolphin, lost 75 percent of her tail to an unknown disease in 2002. This photo from 2007 shows Fuji being fitted with her prosthetic tail -- believed to be the first-ever artificial fin for a dolphin. Officials from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium say the rubber tail actually lets Fuji swim faster and jump higher.
Hoppa, a four-year mutt, was born without front paws. An art student created this contraption to help her walk.
Oscar lost his back legs after being accidentally run over by a combine harvester in Oct. 2009. But on June 25, 2010 he showed off his new "bionic" legs to the public. The operation took three hours and required the prosthetics to be implanted into the remaining bone.
Meet Macho. An animal welfare group found him on the side of the road with a leg wound and had to amputate his limb. This photo shows Macho in June 2003 in Bombay, India, after he was fitted with a prosthetic limb made simply from plaster of Paris.
Veterinarians at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo aren't sure how Arava, an African Spurred Tortoise, ended up with paralyzed back legs. But it hasn't stopped her from getting around. Veterinarians created a wheeled platform that could be attached to her back legs to allow her to move around.
On Aug. 28, 2005, six years after Motala stepped on a landmine in Myanmar and had to have her left front foot amputated, specialists fitted her for a prosthetic paw.
Although the success stories are heartening, the need for prosthetic animal limbs is growing. In March, 2007, the Shaanxi Rare Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center in China made a plea for outside help when they rescued this wild female giant panda who lost her front paw in a fight with other pandas.
When this dog was a puppy, he was abandoned in the basement of a foreclosed home along with his mother. Frigid temperatures and perhaps lack of food killed his mother, but this guy hung on. Unfortunately, frostbite claimed his feet. He was found and later adopted by veterinarian assistant Christie Pace. Pace raised money to pay for two back leg prosthetic devices designed by Martin and Amy Kaufman, who own Orthopets, a company that sells custom-made prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces for animals.