Amazing technology: Three-legged Ziggy has 3D printing as his best friend; dog back on its paw

By @ritwikroy1985 on
3D Printing Technology
A customer is modelled in 3D during a 3D printing show in Brussels, Belgium, October 18, 2015. Reuters/Eric Vidal

In 2014, two-year old Ziggy, a border collie, was found abandoned with his right front leg broken. The leg had to be amputated as it was healing incorrectly. It became crooked and required straightening.

Today, Ziggy is happy and smiling after undergoing surgery at the University of Queensland's Small Animal Surgery in Gatton. Thanks to 3D printing technology, Ziggy has been relieved of his unique ailment.

When Ziggy was only three months old, he was adopted by UQ PhD students Glenn Althor and Rebecca Colvin from the RSPCA at Wacol. Due to increased weight, Ziggy’s only front leg was failing to carry the weight. His angular limb deformity was causing pain.

Senior lecturer Dr. Jayne McGhie of UQ School of Veterinary Science said that Ziggy wouldn’t be able to use his only leg without pain. According to the ABC, Ziggy’s owners had a cart customised to his measurements so that he wouldn’t have to bear weight on the leg before or after surgery.

According to Dr. Lance Wilson and Dr. McGhie, there was no room for error as far as the operation was concerned, and Ziggy’s case was unique as he had only one front leg. If done incorrectly, he would completely lose the power to ambulate and become totally dependent on his owners.

The doctors completed the surgery in December 2015 with the help of UQ's School of Veterinary Science, UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital and Queensland College of Arts at Griffith University. Representatives from Griffith helped the doctors with the 3D modelling and printing.

Thankfully, the surgery was successful and Ziggy can now walk with support using his repaired leg.

“CT scan images of Ziggy's leg were used to create computerised and printed three-dimensional models of his limb. It made it easier for me to assess things like torsion in the bones and visualise how we could correct him,” said Dr. McGhie.

Watch Ziggy the three legged dog has own customised cart for recovery here.

Source: YouTube/Try Not To Laugh

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