Animal Ortho Care’s bread and butter is making orthotic devices for dogs who need help. But we’re happy to help just about any critter that comes through our door– whether it’s elephants, camels, goats or cats.
And we know there are plenty of other folks out there helping out animals of all shapes, sizes and species navigate the world. We thought we’d round up some of the more unique stories to shed a light on all the amazing devices pet owners and animal lovers have designed. Check it out:
Special harness helps disabled goldfish
Our land-based pets aren’t the only ones who deserve extra TLC. The owners of this Goldfish fashioned a floating harness for her out of cork when they found that she was stuck at the bottom of her tank because of a damaged swim bladder.
A pair of tortoises get a second chance
Our friends at The Dodo are masters at sharing unique stories of animals getting a second chance. There you can find two tortoise stories. Check out the tortoise who received a custom, 3-D printed shell after its shell was damaged in a brush fire. Then watch this video about a three-legged shelter tortoise who got a little help skating around from his adopted family with a new sweet wheel to replace his missing leg.
Injured birds benefit from 3-D printed beaks
Grecia, a yellow-throated toucan, lost almost half his beak after being attacked by teenagers. He was recuperating at an animal rescue when scientists teamed together to build a 3-D printed prosthetic beak for him.
Grecia isn’t the only bird that has benefitted from 3-D technology. Karl is an Abyssinian ground hornbill living at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Karl’s lower beak had completely been worn down making it difficult to eat anything. Specialists at the Smithsonian Institute used a 3-D printer to create a new beak of him after scanning the skull of a bird that had lived at the zoos decades before.
Finally, here’s the story of Beauty the Bald Eagle who got a 3-D-printed prosthetic beak after poachers shot her in the face.
Ninja suit helps sea turtle to stop swimming in circles
Allison the green sea turtle with just one fin (experts believe she was the victim of a shark attack) had spent years swimming around in circles. That is until researchers intervened building her what they called a “ninja suit” made of black neoprene that has a dorsal fin attached to the back. Now, thanks to her suit, she’s able to swim like other sea turtles. Read more about Allison here.
Buttercup the duck enjoys a new waddle
Buttercup the duck was born with a deformed foot that pointed backward. Her owner thought she might fair better with a peg leg than a backward foot, so her deformed foot was amputated. With the help of an animal sanctuary, Buttercup got a brand-new foot thanks to 3-D printing. Read more of her story here.
Winter: the dolphin with a prosthetic tail
Winter the dolphin was found trapped in a crab trap line near Cape Canaveral Florida when she was just two months old. She was rescued and taken to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but veterinarians there were unable to save her tail. Most dolphins in this situation would’ve succumbed to their injuries, but not Winter, who adapted a new way of swimming. Working with a marine mammal vet and marine animal trainers, a team of prosthetists designed a new tale for the dolphin, that fits to her body using suction. Winter was so inspirational, her story was featured in the 2011 feature film "Dolphin Tale".