I’m willing to bet that a majority of us have heard of prosthetics at some point or another. They serve an incredible purpose and can truly change someone’s life, and they’re an invention whose worth will never recede. They’re necessary, important, and are something that should be available to whoever may need them.
While most of us have heard of or have seen prosthetics intended for humans, prosthetics for animals aren’t exactly as common. That isn’t to say they aren’t significant, however, and an article by Judy Cole from Good News Network delves into a pretty neat bit of information on the topic.
“Derrick Campana, star of BYUtv’s Wizard of Paws, a pioneer in the field of prosthetics and orthotics for animals, is kind of like what you’d get if you crossed Dr. Dolittle with the Six Million Dollar Man.
“Since 2005, Campana’s ‘pet fitters’ Bionic Pets and Animal Ortho Care have been building custom-made mobility devices for animals of all sizes and descriptions from cats and dogs, to eagles, tortoises, cows, foxes, camels, goats—and even a six-ton African elephant.
“In Wizard of Paws, with his wing-dog, Henry riding shotgun, Campana travels the U.S. creating custom-designed devices to help pets with a variety of mobility issues.
“At his home base in Sterling, Virginia, Campana spends much of his time doing fittings and casting molds in order to create the forms he painstakingly hand-sculpts; finishing the devices with vacuum-formed plastic and a variety of other materials.
“Animal Ortho Care also currently ships casting kits all over the world. Compana hopes to broaden his outreach with advances in cost-effective 3-D printing technology—and since every animal that comes to him presents its own unique puzzle, expanding horizons and searching for new solutions is what Campana is all about.
“One of the most important parts of Campana’s mission is educating both pet owners and veterinarians about new and emerging options for care. He admits when he first started out, he got push-back from veterinary doctors trained in more traditional methods who didn’t fully grasp the potential benefits of orthotics and prosthetics for animal applications.
“However, since then, he’s been steadily been striving to show how such devices can actually offer better outcomes—including less post-surgical downtime, and in some cases, eliminating the need for surgery altogether. These days, the feedback he’s getting is pretty much resoundingly positive,” says the article.
I’d say this is a rather fine example of some good news.