Animal Prosthetics are a widely varying field with many different interfaces. Licensed Mechanical Engineers add immense insight into material selections, gearing, wear, and vibration response. From disease prevention (heating, ventilation, hospital room design) to surgical tools, mechanical engineering has vastly changed the art of healing sick and injured animals. A Licensed Mechanical Engineer can develop a variety of apparatus’ for the Animal Kingdom to increase mobility. Animal prosthetics are a relatively new phenomenon, and their technology is improving at a rapid pace.
Animal Prosthetics are Designed by Licensed Mechanical Engineers
Animal Prosthetics are a widely varying field with many different interfaces. Licensed Mechanical Engineers add immense insight into material selections, gearing, wear, and vibration response. An actuated prothetic (i.e., one of the springy lower leg prosthetics) needs specific licensed mechanical engineering analysis of control characteristics. Legs, beaks, fins, and tails – a sampling of the lost or damaged anatomy that veterinarians have successfully replaced with artificial gadgets – represent the latest crossover fashion of human medicine to veterinary medicine. From disease prevention (heating, ventilation, hospital room design) to surgical tools, mechanical engineering has vastly changed the art of healing sick and injured animals. Dogs with front or rear leg problems can get around freely with a cart for front or rear leg injuries.
Materials Scientists Help Reduce Weight of Prosthetics
Thousands of Animals need help with mobility. Licensed Mechanical Engineers can add to the Animals ability maneuverability on a daily basis. Over time Mechanical Engineers can adjust the angle of how the leg connects to a harness, or improve the tread of the metal foot to provide more traction on a slippery surface. Licensed Mechanical Engineers along with Materials Scientists develop ideas such as using titanium, instead of the current aluminum, this greatly reduces the prosthetic’s current weight of about two pounds. This obviously makes it easier to use long term.
Exotics Benefit from Mechanical Engineering Also
Licensed Mechanical Engineers have been able to help not only dogs and cats, but a variety of exotic animals too (Fig. 2 Duck Below). An Elephant stepped on a land mine and lost the lower portion of her leg. Licensed Mechanical Engineers were able to make a prosthetic lower front leg for the Elephant to support her tremendous weight. An Eagle lost half of the top and side of his beak, a new one was made from strong plastic, 3D Printing ( 3D Printing Just Not for Engineers ), using fine small screws to secure onto the remaining portions of the beak. A Dolphin lost part of her tail, a team of Engineers were able to develop and secure a tail and with a special liner, that could adhere to her very delicate skin yet hold tightly in the water and stay put as she thrust her tail to swim.
Licensed Mechanical Engineers design the most advanced, biomechanically appropriate, braces and prosthetic solutions available with the animal brace and prosthetic industry. (Fig. 3 Below) The goal is a solution to reduce pain and lameness, provide support and comfort, and most of all, return a pets quality of life through restored mobility. Adaptive devices can also be made. Licensed Mechanical Engineers design supports for animals that are limping, knuckling at the hind limb or paw. Support help also for neurological conditions, spinal trauma, sciatic nerve injury. An owner can add in Rehabilitation Therapy to increase the pets mobility, comfort and function.
Animal prosthetics are a relatively new phenomenon, and their technology is improving at a rapid pace. Behind the scientific and medical wizardry of these artificial contraptions, however, there will forever endure the stories of how beloved pets and wounded creatures in the wild have come to receive their surrogate parts. These stories are anything but ordinary, and they reveal the power of compassion and technology to renew the spirit of ailing animals and humans alike. ( Human Prosthetics)