Veterinarians Build Lego Wheelchair for Turtle Missing Both Back Legs

first_img One turtle that lost both its back legs is getting a new lease on life after veterinarians built him a ‘wheelchair’ using a Lego car kit.When Pedro, an adult male box turtle, was adopted by his owners, he was missing one of his back legs. But after recently escaping from his outdoor enclosure, he returned with the other rear leg missing.His owner, Sandra Traylor, brought him to the veterinarians at Louisiana State University (LSU), who came with an ingenious way to help Pedro.“The wound had already healed quite well and he managed to get back on his own with his front legs somehow. Without his back legs, he’s a little less mobile. As a box turtle, he can still ‘box up’ and protect himself that way, but due to his weakened mobility, the owners decided to make him a permanent indoor turtle,” said Kelly Rockwell, DVM, a zoological medicine intern in the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “Since they opted to keep him inside, I was talking to Dr. Mark Mitchell, the clinician working that week, and we thought in order to make him more mobile, we could add a prosthetic of some sort. We talked about 3-D printing something, or we could try to make him wheels.”Using a Lego car kit, Rockwell and LSU veterinary student Sarah Mercer came up with the best way to attach the wheels to Pedro.“We had the whole zoo med service and all of the students helping. We had to make the axles long enough to fit his body. We also made it so they could come off to clean Pedro. We had to try a couple of things to fit him. We used epoxy to attach Pedro. The same epoxy that’s used on horseshoes,” Rockwell said.Doctors and students from LSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital built Pedro prosthetic legs using Legos. (Photo Credit: LSU)In addition to epoxy, other equipment was needed as well to give Pedro his prosthetics.“Syringe cases were used to hold the axles together and then we cut some pieces down to size to fit him,” Rockwell said. “I love zoo med. It gives me an opportunity to be very creative with my job. We get a chance to be really creative as doctors to help these animals live a great quality of life.”Pedro’s owners are thrilled with the result — and the fact that Pedro has learned to roll with it.“He’s taken to the wheels with absolutely no problem. He adjusted right away to them. He backs up, he turns, goes back and forth,” Traylor said. “He, overall, is a pretty happy camper after all he went through. It’s like a science class but better because you’re living it.”More on Puppy Born With Upside-Down Paws Recovering After SurgeryVeterinarians Find 19 Baby Pacifiers Inside Dog’s StomachKitten Encased in Spray Foam Rescued by Garbage Collector in Oregon Stay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ last_img

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