Saturday, 28 January 2012

The One Show- Dog Prosthetics

Last night I managed to just catch The One Show where they had the Bionic Vet, Noel Fitzpatrick, discussing animal prosthetics. I was truly touched with the lengths that these animal owners went to for their pets. There is a lot of debate about whether it is worth 'putting animals through' procedures discussed on the show and that it might not be right.

Here are the stories they talked about.

The cat who had his back legs cut off by a combine harvester. They thought he had no hope and was beyond repair. Oscar is like any other cat now running around outside.

The dog who was trampled by a horse. The only option was to cut off her leg or leave her leg and put her to sleep. Mitzi was bleeding a lot, her owner opted for the prosthetic leg and could not be happier.

At 14 months he was diagnosed with cancer which was eating away his forearm. Charlie now has a real elbow and a real foot but everything between is metal, but you wouldn't even notice. It has been two years since he was diagnosed and he is a very happy dog.

Oscar and Fitzpatrick

So do these prosthetics involve? Mitzi has an advanced bionic device where a piece of metal was placed through her ankle bone and a prosthetic foot was attached from the outside (an endo and exo-prosthesis). This would not have been possible without the amazing work conducted at University College London, where these implants were designed (similar to that of a deer antler), where skin and bone can grow into a honey-comb web of metal.

Lots of people believe that this kind of procedure isn't possible and many think that it shouldn't be done but watching these animals was extraordinary, to think that any of these animals were going to be put to sleep or that it was being considered that they should be to me seems ridiculous. These types of procedures could also assist in human treatment, even though doctors and vets have diverged Fitzpatrick believes there is a possibility that this could also help people.

The Bionic Vet concluded with the statement 'if its possible why should we not save these animals'.

The episode is available here, the Bionic Vet appears between 35-40mins.

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