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Vets create 3D-printed mask for injured puppy
Loca wearing the Exo-K9 mask created using 3D-printing technology.

Exoskeleton serves as a cast for fractured dog skull

Vets in California have created the first exoskeleton for dogs with maxillomandibular injuries.

The Exo-K9 exoskeleton is the result of a long-standing collaboration between oral surgeons at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital and students in the university’s biomedical engineering department. The apparatus serves as a cast for the fractured skull whilst it heals.

The device was created for four-month-old Loca, who was presented to UC Davis Veterinary Hospital suffering from severe facial injuries. A bite from another dog had left the Staffordshire bull terrier with a broken cheekbone, jawbone and extensive damage to her temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

As Loca was so young, the oral surgeons believed there was a good chance that the TMJ could correct itself through natural bone regrowth. They also saw the case as a good opportunity to test out the new face mask they had been working on.

After surgery, to remove fragments of bone, the surgical team asked the biomedical engineering students to print the Exo-K9 mask. Specifications garnered through a CT scan allowed the team to fit the mask precisely to her head.

During her recovery, Loca was not given access to any toys, bones, or anything else hard to chew. Her mask and neck collar remained on at all times except to allow her to eat and drink. She was fed a soft diet until her injuries healed.

Three months on, and CT scans shows that her previous surgery sites have healed well and that the new TMJ formation is progressing well. It is hoped that this innovative approach could someday help dogs with severe fractures where internal fixation is not possible. 

Image (C) UC Davis Veterinary Hospital

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Prestigious veterinary awards open for nominations

News Story 1
 Nominations for the prestigious PetPlan Veterinary Awards 2022 are now open, with five accolades up for grabs including: Practice of the Year; Vet of the Year, Vet Nurse of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding veterinary professional or practice for an award, from colleagues to pet owners, friends and family. Nominations remain anonymous, and Petplan will send everyone who receives a nomination a certificate to display in their practice.

Nominations can be made at and remain open until Monday 10 January. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New online CPD otitis podcast created

A new 15 minute podcast on treating animals with otitis has been created by Dechra Veterinary Products. Featuring general practice vet Carolyn Kyte and veterinary dermatology specialist Natalie Barnard, the two vets will discuss their experiences treating otitis, and why owners are significant in successful treatment.

Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan commented: "What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better."`

The podcast, called 'Think Differently about Otitis', is available to access for free on the Dechra Academy on-demand learning platform here.