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You’ve seen them on soldiers, you’ve even seen them in the Olympics. But, a prosthetic leg on a dog?
North Shore Animal League America rescued Blaze after he was abandoned on the streets of the Cayman Islands with an amputated and raw front left paw.
They transported him 1,500 miles their Port Washington, NY campus and, once there, an elite team of medical staff joined forces to design and construct him a cutting edge, custom prosthetic leg.
“We deemed him a good fit because he was still using the leg, but he also has the right kind of demeanor for it,” said Vice President & Chief of Veterinary Staff at the Animal League, Dr. Mark Verdino. “He’s a very happy, easy going little dog, and seemed very amenable to the entire process. If he was resistant to it or was growling at us every time we touched his leg we certainly wouldn’t have been able to attempt something like this.”
After weeks of making molds, trying different materials, and making upgrades and modifications, Blaze was ready for a test drive. From the very second the prosthetic was strapped to his leg, Blaze was raring to go, as if nothing had ever happened to his leg!
He’ll still face several weeks of physical therapy and monitoring how the prosthetic is working, but the staff at North Shore Animal League are certain he’ll be ready for long walks, maybe even a run around the park, in no time.
“My goal has always been to improve the scope of what we can perform here at the Animal League, so we can help more animals,” said Dr. Verdino. “The more we can do in house, whether it’s orthopedic surgery, building prosthetics, etc., the more animals we can help and the more lives we can save.”
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Now he’s got a new lease on life and he’s blazing a trail for Mutt-i-grees (or rescue pets) everywhere!
North Shore Animal League is the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue, adoption, and advocacy organization, having rescued over 1,000,000 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since 1944.
To learn more about Blaze, the amazing team of veterinarians and rescuers that came together to create his first-of-its-kind prosthetic, or to find out more about the North Shore Animal League, visit them at AnimalLeague.org.