The Benefits of 3D Printed Prosthetics in Dogs

This post is a guest post that we feel may be of interest to dog lovers.  

Modern technologies have spearheaded the advancement of prostheses over the years. They have grown to not only offer support to amputees, but have been developed to provide the same or similar functionality as a regular limb. One such device is the 3D printed prosthesis. It has become increasingly popular amongst humans, and now it is growing as a superior choice for canines as well. There are a few different benefits of utilizing 3D printed prosthetics.

Though canines have been known to survive without a limb or two, having all intact and fully functioning gives them a greater since of stability. A missing limb can cause the dog to hop around on its other legs, which can have some adverse effects. Walking or running in a straight line is virtually impossible. Also, with the weight unevenly distributed on the remaining legs, it can cause some strain or tension in the pooch’s paws and muscles. As with any prostheses, a 3D printed prosthesis provides a measure of stability allowing the dog to essentially utilize all four legs.

Increased Mobility
3D printed prosthetics have become very popular in a short amount of time due to the increased amount of mobility that they provide. This is clearly shown in the case of Derby, a dog born with deformed front legs. Derby’s owner adopted him because she felt a need to help him. After trying out various prototypes, her team settled on 3D prosthetics because they provide the full support needed, but their rounded design would not limit his motion. The prostheses have proven to be a great success, as Derby is running between 3-4 miles a day.

Restores Vitality
When dogs loose limbs or are born with deformed or missing limbs, they are not able to fully function at their natural state. By nature dogs are very active, constantly running, jumping and digging, amongst other activities. To not be able to perform these functions can cause a canine to not live up to its optimum potential. However, with a new limb it can experience those things in a very natural way. As with Derby’s case, his owner could not believe how quickly he sprinted around with his new prosthesis.

3D printed prostheses have proven to be very helpful aids to those with missing or amputated limbs, humans and canines alike. Particularly with dogs, they provide stability, increase mobility and return vitality to the animal. If you are considering prosthetic options, it would be beneficial to conduct your own research and consult with an emergency vet in your area.

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