Maria Yagoda
March 10, 2016 06:05 PM

When Ziggy, a two-year-old border collie, was found abandoned in 2014 as a puppy, he was in bad shape — his front leg was broken and required amputation

At just three-month-old, Ziggy found a forever home with a couple that adopted him from an animal protection agency. 

“He was a happy little puppy and didn’t mind at all that he only had three legs,” owner Rebecca Colvin said in a statement. But he appeared to be in pain when he walked — vets at the University of Queensland found that he had an angular limb deformity in his front leg, which caused the leg to bend and twist uncomfortably. After undergoing surgery that year, his family had a customized cart made so he could get around easily. But in 2015, it was clear he needed another corrective surgery to fix his arthritis. This time, Ziggy’s family wanted him to leave surgery with the ability to walk on his own. All of it was made possible thanks to 3D modeling and printing.

“CT scan images of Ziggy’s leg were used to create computerized and printed three-dimensional models of his limb. These models were then used to calculate where the bone had to be cut and how it had to be manipulated to straighten the limb so Ziggy could walk normally,” said Dr. Jayne McGhie, who performed the survey with Dr. Lance Wilson. After the procedure, Ziggy was placed back in his cart to recover. Eight weeks later, he can run around on his repaired leg without any help.

“He has just become stronger and stronger every day,” Colvin said. “His recovery has astounded us, as has the improvement to the shape of his leg.”

We’re delighted to report that Ziggy is now healthy enough to run around and partake in all the classic dog shenanigans on his own four paws.

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