Sunday, October 26, 2008

Horse gets artificial leg in pioneering operation

A horse has been given an artifical limb in a pioneering operation that has saved its life.

The mare, named Riley, was intended to be put down after it was taken to an animal centre suffering from a hind leg injury four years ago.

It had a metal plate inserted into its left leg, but it eventually became contaminated, causing the bone to deteriorate.

However, rather than put it down, sanctuary staff decided to try an innovative treatment and amputated the leg and designed a prosthetic limb.

Manager Jen Reid and vets Dr Tara Timpson and Dr Ted Vlahos were so successful that Riley is now able to trot around her paddock, and even carry a rider.

A spokeswoman for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, USA, which came up with the solution, said: "Each year, thousands of horses are put down for reasons very similar to those that necessitated the amputation of Riley's leg. Were hopeful that horses like Riley will get the word out that we don't always need to kill them," he said.

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