One of the saddest moments in dog ownership is when our beloved friends are poorly or not too well, those times they are sick and it’s impossible to do something is even worse, but this technology gives up new hope where there was none before…
This dachshund, approximately 9-years-old, has a condition where a large brain tumor is a problem, now there is something we couldn’t do before, thanks to 3D printing!
It was only small at first, it was a small bump on Patches’ head that grew into a huge problem for Patches and the family…
In the space of just a few months the fast-growing tumor, a quite aggressive tumor, spread through his skull, it was the size of an orange!
In great need of help, they sought the advice of Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncologist from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.
This particular vet was using 3D printing technology to help her save animals lives and improve what we can do!
Normally in a case sorts of cases the tumor, with a piece of the skull, would be taken out, then a titanium mesh fitted in its place.
But, instead, Oblak and her colleagues used a very new, cutting-edge procedure, where they use a 3D-printed skull cap that is specially fitted for the canine patient.
The researchers say that it is more precise and less costly compared to conventional methods, which make such a difference…
Amazingly the titanium cap replaced about 70% of Patches’ skull, that had to be removed during his surgery.
Oblak said researchers in the UK have done something like it but on a considerably smaller scale.
They take CT scans of the dog and use software to simulate the surgical process, cutting the tumor from the dog’s head.
Once finished with the simulation they use the data to create the skull cap, or the part that is needed; with screw locations and all!
There is … “very little room for error”
The measurements have to be pretty accurate, in this one case an error of 2mm could be a disaster and it would not fit correctly!
Patches went under the knife and with four hours of surgery had the tumor removed, she is now walking around and cancer free !!
We are delighted by these amazing techniques, really awesome what we can now do!
Patches now has a bit of a crooked ear, but his owner is delighted it was all a great success!
Sadly though Patches slipped a disc and is now paralyzed in her two hind legs. She refuses to have a wheelchair, of course, instead, she pulls herself forward with her two front legs, bless her, poor dear!
But progress is still progress, we hope you feel better soon Patches and maybe try that wheelchair…