It was feared the kid might have to be euthanised.
A young goat is back on her feet after veterinary surgeons at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) successfully fitted a 3D printed prosthetic foot.
Thistle, a Nubian goat, was born with a suspected deformity in her foot. Her veterinary surgeon diagnosed her with fractured digits.
Her owner Debbie Dale said: “Initial assessments were pointing towards having her having no option other than being put to sleep due to the extreme extent of the amputation she needed.”
However, Ms Dale was keen to explore the possibility of a prosthetic limb, especially as Thistle was so young.
Her veterinary surgeon referred five-week-old Thistle to the Equine Referral Hospital at the RVC. Following a CT scan and discussions about possible options, she underwent an amputation.
Three weeks after the surgery, Thistle returned to RVC to have her stitches removed and a new prosthetic limb fitted.
Professor Richard Bomphrey of the RVC’s Structure and Motion Laboratory, alongside Dr Melanie Perrier, senior lecturer in equine soft tissue surgery, designed and manufactured the limb based on measurements taken during another CT scan.
The limb has Velcro straps and a threaded bolt that can be adjusted as Thistle grows taller. Modifications have already been made to the design to help make it more comfortable.
Dr Perrier said: “Thistle's progress and her initial response to the prosthesis are very encouraging. While she initially only used the prosthesis for a few steps, after a few days she was mostly weight-bearing on it and showing a more natural gait.
“She will wear her prosthetic for a little longer each day and undergo regular physiotherapy exercises. She will only wear the prosthesis for a few hours daily to start with so she can get accustomed to it gently, and this will be increased over the following weeks and months so that ultimately, she can wear her prosthesis throughout the day.”
Ms Dale added: “I am over the moon with Thistle’s progress. She’s back to her agile self – even bullying her brothers!”
Image (C) RVC