There was a time when most mobility-challenged animals were put down. But now there’s a world of possibilities for disabled critters.
Several companies make prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces for animals—especially dogs. But some folks are doing the same for all shapes and sizes of creatures—even a 5-ton, 30-year-old elephant with a bum leg.
The process starts with a mold of the damaged limb. Then a brace or artificial limb is created from thermoplastics. That’s where things can get tricky. For example, the titanium pieces in the elephant’s brace were so large that they had to be finished at a human spinal brace company with ovens big enough to hold them.
Of course, after the prosthetic is made, there’s no guarantee an animal will accept it. But most adjust quickly and never look back. They’re just too busy living life.