When a dog with a leg deformity were given a pair of prosthetics legs to help him move around, it was like getting a second lease on life.
Derby is a Husky mixed breed, which was rescued by animal shelter Peace and Paws from New Hamsphire. He was born with a congenital abnormality that gave him small front legs and no front paws. It was very difficult for him to walk and often scooted around using his chest and nubs as forelegs go around.
3D Systems Project Management Director Tara Anderson saw Derby in the shelter and after hearing his story, offered to foster him. At first, she got a wheel cart for Derby to help him get around. However, the cart’s design “limit his mobility in terms of being able to play with other dogs and it’s not really the full motion of running.”
Anderson worked closely with her company, 3D Systems and Dr. Derrick Campana, an animal ortho doctor to come up with a design that would suit Derby well. The initial design they were looking for is called “running man” with a hook shape. However, Anderson expressed concerns that he might “end up digging them on the dirt.” So a little modification was made and the final design was a loop shape that is great on any surface because it is anti-slip. The best thing with it is that it has a strong support that allows Derby the luxury of running.
The dog adjusted easily to his new legs. “It was an amazing feeling to watch Derby take off with his prosthetics for the first time,” Anderson said. She added, “You could tell he was so happy to be able to run and play like he had always wanted.”
After final revisions on the prosthetics’ fit, Derby was adopted permanently to a couple, Dom and Sherri Portanova. Since he began using it, Derby could now walk two to three miles a day with his new legs.