Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Amputation and Prosthetics: Molly the Pony Leads a Parade of Animal Amputees Showing Off Their Artificial Limbs

Here's an old friend: Molly the Pony sent this blog into global "gone viral" paralysis in 2008 when we announced that a children's book had been written about the three-legged Hurricane Katrina survivor. Now she's a global celebrity, and in this little video, she leads a parade of proud prosthesis-wearing animal pals--and rightly so!

This video enhances a spectacular article in the October issue of WIRED Magazine about animal amputees. The music by the way, was a great choice, I thought. It's the uplifting Concerto in D Major for Viola (First Movement) by Stamitz.

This nice portrait of Molly by Adrian Gaut shows the pony who has become such a symbol of hope and resilience to people around the world. She met thousands of people as a star of the show at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Molly was abandoned when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Her barn collapsed around her but she survived--only to be attacked by a pit bull at her rescue farm. Surgeon Rustin Moore DVM at Louisiana State University's vet school (now at Ohio State) took a chance and amputated what was left of her right front leg to save her life. (photo: WIRED Magazine)
Check out WIRED's compelling portrait gallery of amputee animals who are living and moving again, thanks to prosthetic designs that are as creative and inspiring as the spunky animals who wear them.

WIRED story author Emily Anthes says she is working on a book about amputee animals.

If you're interested in what's being done to help animals in need of amputation surgery and prosthesis design, note that the BBC show The Bionic Vet was shown on cable in the USA this fall and now can be viewed as a pay-per-view on iTunes. The show highlights the groundbreaking work on British vet Noel Fitzpatrick. While this trailer is a bit dramatic, and Fitzpatrick can be that way sometimes too, the show really is excellent.

Here's a sample of a case from The Bionic Vet. I have a soft spot for Corgis. I just wish Noel Fitzpatrick had a soft spot for horses. Several other vets, including Dr Ric Redden in Versailles, Kentucky and Dr Ted Vlahos of Cody Equine Hospital in Wyoming are advocates for equine amputation in the United States and have helped a lot of horses.


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