High-Tech Prosthetics Give Bionic Animals A New Lease On Life
Humans are no longer the only ones to benefit from medical prosthetics.
The development of the technology over the years has allowed scientists to use prosthetics to help amputated animals regain lost mobility.
It has also given pet owners an opportunity to save animals born with defects and give them a chance to live normal lives instead of having them put down.
Here are four stories of animals that were saved through the aid of medical prosthetics:
Fuji the Dolphin
One of the first known animals to ever receive a prosthetic appendage was a dolphin named Fuji from the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan.
Fuji has been a resident of the aquarium since 1976 when it was first captured off the eastern coast of Japan.
However, in 2002, officials from the aquarium discovered that an unknown illness had caused Fuji to lose 75 percent of its tail fin to rotting.
Through the help of the Bridgestone Tire Company, animal experts were able to create a prosthetic tail fin made of rubber to replace Fuji's missing part.
After the operation, the dolphin was able to live the rest of its life normally until its death in November 2014.
Brutus the Rottweiler
In May, a two-year-old Rottweiler named Brutus was able to walk on its own again after being fitted with four prosthetic legs.
Brutus lost his legs when his first owner tried to operate an at-home amputation on its paws. When the surgery was botched, Brutus' owner instead decided to abandon the dog outside to freeze to death. By the time Brutus was rescued, the dog had suffered from frostbite aside from its injured legs.
The dog was taken in by Laura Aquilina, who has nursed Brutus back to health since June 2014. She officially adopted the dog in April and even launched a fundraiser to cover Brutus' prosthetics and physical therapy sessions.
OrthoPets, a leading veterinary orthotic and prosthetic center in Denver, designed four unique prosthetic legs for Brutus capable of protecting the dog's limbs, supporting its legs and realigning its legs to equal lengths.
Brutus is now recovering from the operation at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University.
Cub the Cattle Dog
Cub the cattle dog lost its two hind legs after it was shot and trapped by an unknown assailant. Rescuers found the dog wandering the streets of Las Vegas, New Mexico badly injured and almost dying.
Concerned citizens and members of the animal rescue group NMDOG helped Cub recover from injuries, giving the cattle dog prosthetic legs courtesy of the Hanger Clinic.
Cub is now being cared for by the veterinarian who first operated on the dog to save its life.
Aku-3 the Sea Turtle
Rescue workers in Turkey recovered a wounded loggerhead turtle after the animal got involved in an accident and lost a portion of its beak.
They took the injured sea turtle to Pamukkale University's Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Denizli where animal experts treated its wounds.
Officials at the rescue facility, along with a research team from BTech Innovation, created medical-grade titanium prosthetic using 3D printing technology to replace the missing part of the turtle's beak.