A tiny dog can finally enjoy her dinner for the first time in her life after a vet fixed her wonky jaw using a 3D printer.Poppet the Shih Tzu had struggled all her eight years because generations of inbreeding had left her with a severely deformed bottom jaw, which was too small to hold her tongue. But now she can finally enjoy her food after vet Dr Ryk Botes performed surgery on her, replacing her entire lower jaw with one he made using a 3D printer.
Dr Botes, a specialist in orthopaedics and replacement surgery, successfully fitted the dog with a 3D printed titanium implant.
Poppet’s tongue permanently hung out from her mouth, leaving her struggling to eat or clean herself.Poppet’s owner, Daphne Harrigan, says her ‘dream came true’ after the tricky hour-long op left her with ‘a different dog’. Daphne adopted Poppet, suspected of being used for illegal puppy farming, two years ago. Her daughter Debbie Crouch said Poppet has made a good recovery and is a ‘different dog’ following the operation.
She said: ‘Before the operation, her tongue lolled out of her mouth permanently and she couldn’t eat or clean herself properly.
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‘Now she can and it’s as if she has a whole new lease of life.
‘It’s a dream come true for mum to see Poppet living a normal, happy life.
‘It’s wonderful to see her – and equally wonderful to see how happy she makes my mum.
‘We can’t thank Ryk and his team enough for what they’ve done for Poppet. He has really gone above and beyond and we’re so grateful to him.’Poppet helped fill a hole in Daphne’s life following the loss of her husband 11 years ago.
She has other health problems which suggested she may have been used for breeding on a puppy farm.
Dr Botes, a branch partner at Medivet in Faversham, Kent, felt the only way to properly fix the dog’s jaw – which had a large segment missing – was to attempt a partial jaw replacement.
Jaw replacements are common in humans but Poppet’s small size made it particularly difficult to design and produce a custom-made implant.
Dr Botes sent CT scans to specialist firm 3D Metal Printing to create the titanium jaw for Poppet.
Now, Poppet is healthy, happy, and enjoying all the food she can fit into her little belly – totally pain-free.
Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”