Having to go through the loss of a limb is something that no one should ever have to experience. Whether it be from a disease or an accident, one of the most difficult parts of the traumatic event is readjusting yourself to a new way of life. This process can be especially difficult for those that cherished independence, as they don’t usually like the idea of requiring assistance or help from others.
Dealing with injuries like this are hard enough for a person to go through, but can you imagine what it be like for animals to endure? Recently, a Chilean pink flamingo living in captivity in Brazil was given a rudimentary prosthetic leg to replace one that had to be amputated due to a severe bone fracture.
The specialized prosthesis is thought to be the first of its kind given to a flamingo. The animal was fitted with the new leg on July 1st and has slowing been growing accustomed to the feel and difference in balance.
This x-ray shows the flamingo’s broken leg prior to amputation. The leg was amputated due to the difficulty in healing a break that severe. Additionally, the risk of the present infection spreading during the healing process was deemed to be too high and would put the bird’s life at risk.
Veterinarian Andre Costa, performed the amputation to stop the spread of infection before it spread beyond the leg.
The flamingo is only six years old, but is now expected to be able to live a full and healthy life between 20 to 30 years.
Parts of the specialized prosthesis include a leg covering, socket piece, and leg extension.
The fitting process can be very distressing to the animal, so it must be carefully held down with force in order to properly affix the new leg.
Being held down is such a manner may seem overboard, but it is necessary in order to avoid having to put the bird to sleep.
The leg amputation is bandaged well and constantly cleaned and checked for any reoccurrence of infection.
It is unclear as to how the fracture managed to occur. It has been theorized that perhaps a pelican crashed into its legs as it shares the same enclosure.
The flamingo will be kept apart from the others at the zoo until it is has become fully adjusted to its new leg.
Although it will take some time to fully adjust, the animal is off to a great start in returning to life as normal.
Even simple things, like keeping balance while eating, can prove to be a difficult task.
The leg is still able to retract upwards, though the lower portion past the knee will always hang.
Via: CBS News | Reuters