When Yogo was born, there was something different about her than all the other puppies in her litter: she suffers from congenital atrophy in her right front leg causing it to be significantly smaller than the others. That didn’t stop her owner from falling in love with the spunky little malamute puppy though and Yogo soon had a home, and an owner willing to accommodate her every need.
As the puppy grew, her owner began to look around to see if there were any possibilities for having her fitted for a prosthetic. However, in China, where Yogo and her human companion lived, vets are not accustomed to the practice of fitting prosthetics for handicapped animals. Several weeks later, Yogo’s human was surfing the web when she came across a group of people who were interested in advancing the cause of disabled animals in China through Pet Fair Asia.
While Yogo could still get around easily, many pets are put down every year because of injuries or disabilities that prevent them from walking. This new charity was hoping to reduce those numbers by providing help so that those animals could walk again. Intrigued by the possibility, Yogo and her dearest human travelled to Shanghai where the fair was taking place.
Yogo’s bipedal guardian contacted the charity and asked if it she would be a good candidate for their program. Once it was determined that there was a good fit, a scan was made of Yogo’s legs by the Hangzhou based additive manufacturing company Shining 3D. After completing the scan, the company worked to develop a customized prosthetic that would fit exactly as needed.
It took four iterations, but they were finally able to create the perfect prosthetic. They tried a version that was created from a copy of her fully formed left front leg but that had a shelf and back to allow her leg to be strapped in, in order to provide her with a prosthetic that looked more like the limb should. They also tried a version that was supposed to give her freedom of motion through the creation of a rounded wheel-like design. But the best version was one that looks like a small bar stool with a back that ends with a rounded bottom.
Throughout all of this, Yogo didn’t miss a beat, sitting calmly during the scan and allowing herself to be the center of attention both during the process and when it came time to show off the product. She may look a little different than other dogs, but they don’t seem to notice and she became good friends with the dog belonging to the owner of Shining 3D in the process.
She’s still young and the opportunities present to study her interaction with the prosthetic and continue to make adjustments makes her an ideal find. Rather than having this type of sometimes life saving prosthetic for an animal be something that is only available to the wealthiest of patrons, 3D printing is making very real the chance that this type of accessory will be widely available and may not cost any more than a couple of bags of dog food.
Little malamute, Yogo, was born with a congenital defect that caused her right front leg to atrophy. While she has learned to navigate the world on three legs, her owner was looking for some way to provide a prosthetic that would ease her difficulties. She connected with a charitable organization at Pet Fair Asia that was working with Shining 3D to create 3D printed prosthetics for injured and disabled animals. After several iterations, they were able to print a custom fit prosthetic for Yogo who has enthusiastically tested it out.