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article imageMiniature horse gets artificial leg

By Lynn Curwin     Mar 23, 2011 in Science
Denton - A miniature horse in Texas, who was born with part of one leg missing, is now able to run thanks to his new artificial leg.
Yahoo News reported that Ranch Hand Rescue feared Midnite would have to be euthanized when he was handed over to the group, after being seized by law enforcement officers.
The hoof was missing from his left rear leg.
Law Enforcement seized Midnite due to abuse and neglect and placed him with The North Texas Humane Society. That organization asked Ranch Hand Rescue to take him because that group has a farm animal sanctuary.
"Midnite was underweight, malnourished and extremely depressed," states the group on its website. "In addition he was missing his coffin bone and hoof."
They said he walked on three legs, had trouble lying down and getting up, and was depressed.
After loving care and a good diet enabled the four-year-old to gain weight, the Humane Society arranged for a boot to be donated by Soft Ride, in order to teach the horse how to reposition his weight and to build the muscles he would need to walk on all fours.
"Since we could not afford a custom boot Soft Ride donated a used boot to us and we started working with Midnite immediately," stated Ranch Hand Rescue. "The process was lengthy, as we had to tape the boot on each morning and remove it each night. In addition Midnite's leg needed to be massage and powdered every evening."
Amputating the leg and building an entire prosthetic one was considered, but it was felt that something designed for his deformity would be best.
Representatives from Prostheticare met with Ranch Hand Rescue vets and staff to talk about what could be done. Several fittings, and a couple of months, later Midnite was able to run and jump. The company donated the leg, which would have cost more than $14,000.
The carbon graphite, nyglass stockinette and acrylic resin leg has a soft lining which conforms to Midnite's own limb.
"In light of all of the bad things happening in the world today, we believe that Midnite will serve as an inspiration to all of us who face challenges in our daily lives," added Ranch Hand Rescue. "We believe Midnite can help inspire and heal both Children & Adults who themselves have hardships.
In 2009, an elephant with an artificial leg was in the news.
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