Yukon and Darwin are two dogs who were unable to walk a short time ago. Yukon, a wolf hybrid, had his wrist crushed by an elk. After numerous surgeries, his vets were suggesting amputation as the only option. Darwin, a tiny little Yorkie, was attacked by a larger dog and had his front paw amputated.
Today, both of these dogs are active and running on devices made by a company called OrthoPets that specializes in prosthetics and orthotic braces for animals: Yukon wears a removable brace that lets his injured wrist support his weight again, while Darwin sports an American flag-motif prosthetic leg.
OrthoPets founder Martin Kaufmann came from the world of human prosthetics and orthotics and started the company after his cousin's dog was became unable to use a paw. When veterinarians suggested amputation, Kaufmann thought he could do better. He made the dog a brace and then decided to head into the animal world full-time. He's since teamed up with veterinarian Dr. Patsy Mich, who serves as Medical Director and on-site veterinarian at the Denver, Colorado based clinic. There, they custom-build devices and design patient-specific treatment plans.
The company also treats dogs from other parts of the country via Skype-based conferencing and collaborations with local vets. To find out more, check out their web site here.
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