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Custom implant saves dog’s life
The seven-year-old Bernese mountain dog (not pictured) was presented to Alta Vista Animal Hospital, Ottawa.
3D-printed implant used to reconstruct upper jaw  

A dog from Canada has become the first in the world to be fitted with an implant to replace the hard tissue lost to tumour removal.

The seven-year-old Bernese mountain dog was presented to Alta Vista Animal Hospital, Ottawa, with a tumour on the left side of his upper jaw. Vets had little option other than the total removal of the growth followed by reconstruction.

Due the complexity of the region, it was decided that a customised 3D-printed titanium implant supporting the dog’s bone structure would be the most appropriate treatment.

The procedure was carried out by Dr Julias Liptak, who used a titanium maxillofacial implant designed by Voxelmed in Gemany. Using digital imaging technology, the team at Voxelmed created a 3D model of the affected area. This was then used to create a custom implant with input from Dr Liptak.

“During surgery, the affected areas, along with clean tumour margins, were removed,” explained Jan Klasen, veterinary surgeon, 3D designer and CEO of Voxelmed. “The implant was then put into place and fixed with surgical screws.

“A facial axial pattern skin flap was prepared and used to cover the affected area and the implant. This left the dog with a particularly impressive physical outcome as the nose structure did not have to be altered to account for the missing tissue.”

Klasen adds that without the manufacturing technology, it would have been almost impossible to reconstruct the dog’s jaw as the area was extremely complex.

“The implant had to have a similar shape and functionality as the dog's existing bone structure,” he said. “Using additive manufacturing to maintain the original shape and function of the oral and nasal cavity ensures a high quality of life for the dog, just as a naturally shaped skull and maxilla helps the dog to breathe and eat easily.

“To my knowledge, this is the first implant of its kind. Prior to this case, the majority of veterinary surgeons were unaware that the technology was even available. Similar reconstructions are now being planned in Germany and there is ongoing research into how animals can benefit from this procedure.”

The dog was able to leave the hospital just one day after surgery and has since made a full recovery. 

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop