Mitzie’s Bionic Paw

by Mary Haight on January 20, 2011

The The Bionic Vet title card
Image via Wikipedia

Now we have a matched set!  Sort of.  Mitzi the bionic dog, meet Oscar the bionic cat , both the first of their species to receive special prosthetic paws that allow them to experience their normal cat and dog lives. Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, who had his own series on BBC, the Bionic Vet, performed both procedures, this newest on a three-year-old German Shepherd. Mitzie got her foot and ankle crushed by a horse, and it was either try this or amputate the whole leg. 

Dr Fitzpatrick notes that before this procedure, Intraosseous Transcutaneous Amputation Prosthesis technology (ITAP), there was no way to fit a dog or cat with a prosthetic. Now they use computer modeling to measure the gait of the animal to create an end product that acts like a real ankle and foot, allowing the animal to run and jump and do what they do.  And yes, this procedure has recently been used on a woman who had lost an arm. 

You can read the rest at the Daily Mail Online and take a look at the x-ray and photo close up. 

Enhanced by Zemanta
14 comments
Kim
Kim

Wow, when I saw that sling it brought back memories of going through everything with my dog Rosie. She ended up with a total amputation of her right back leg but I don't think she had enough movement in any of that leg to have been able to have such a device. But I'm so glad to see that something has been developed to help other animals. Wonderful!

Mel
Mel

Oh wow! That is amazing! Technology amazes me sometimes. Thanks for sharing this Mary!

Carol'sCritterCorner
Carol'sCritterCorner

Wow, it's amazing what medical advances they can do today. It looks like the dog doesn't even miss part of his leg.

veryvizsla
veryvizsla

How cool is that? Treatments that are poineered via animals are usually transferred to human use, so YAY for everyone!!

Ryan Schoop
Ryan Schoop

If we think out of the box there has to be a lot more out there that can help dogs that we currently have for humans. While this is an awesome advancement, why in the world has it taken so long to get prosthetics for dogs when we have had them for so long for humans!

Doody Digger
Doody Digger

This is so interesting and inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

jan
jan

Amazing. Animals It's amazing what can be done for animals today and what the medical community can learn to help humans with the same problems.

Kristine
Kristine

This is incredibly cool. I can't even imagine all of the wonderful things that can happen with this type of technology. Thanks for posting about it.

@Kenzo_HW
@Kenzo_HW

Fantastic when technology can improve life. Wonderful to see how Mitzi, like the cat before, just goes on with life like nothing happened (although the cat was faster "on its feet"). Our pets are amazing.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Ah, the frustrations of that question! I'm sure a vet could give you a better answer, but advances like these may be market driven. R&D dollars are generally not dedicated to things not perceived to bring an acceptable return on investment - maybe that's not true in this case. Thanks for stopping by Ryan.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

You're welcome - glad you enjoyed it!

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Jan - I am always so delighted at the science that can be shared between humans and dogs to improve the lives of both species. Thanks for stopping by.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Glad you enjoyed the news, Kristine, and thanks for stopping by.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

I agree! Oscar was ready to go out cat dancing right after his operation:) What a great advancement in science for our pets and people, too!

Previous post:

Next post: