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Woof! 'Robodog' Brutus learns to walk on artificial limbs

March 31, 2015 09:38 IST
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A two-year-old canine quadruple amputee is amazingly back on his feet, becoming only the second dog ever known to have four prosthetic limbs.

 
Sasha Foster, CSU certified canine rehabilitation therapist, guides Brutus in exercises with props to help him learn to use his prosthetics. Laura Southworth, a veterinary technician, also helps with the therapy session. Photograph: John Eisele/CSU

Brutus, a Rottweiler from Loveland, Colorado, can walk now after a few months of training and therapy. "He just has these little peg legs to get around on and he does a pretty good job inside the home," Laura Aquilina, Brutus' foster mom, told a local TV station KDVR.

 
Laura Aquilina, foster owner of Brutus, puts on his new prosthetics in preparation for a physical therapy session at CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Photograph: John Eisele/CSU

Brutus was severely frostbitten after his breeder left him out in the cold when he was a puppy. The breeder then amputated the pup's paws himself, leaving the dog crippled.

 
Laura and Sasha play with Brutus. Photograph: Colorado State University

The disabled dog, who had to be carried over was adopted by a family initially. However, the family surrendered him because they could not keep up with the daily demands.

 

 
And here is Brutus in a reflective mood. Photograph: Colorado State University

Brutus' luck finally turned around during the summer. Aquilina started caring for the pup in June. She also teamed up with pet rescue volunteer Laura Ornelas to launch the ‘Better Paws for Brutus’ GoFundMe campaign, which raised almost $12,500 for the pup's new limbs and physical therapy.

 
Brutus poses with his trainers. Photograph: Colorado State University

He was fitted with the devices last year, first in the rear and then front feet came 6 to 8 weeks later. Walking outside is still difficult for the pooch, Aquilina said.

 
Sadly, walking outside is still difficult for Brutus. Photograph: Colorado State University

He will continue his rehabilitation at Colorado State University so he can further adjust to his new limbs.

"We want to be able to give him a higher function, where he can run and play with other dogs, go on hikes," she added. Brutus is only the second dog ever known to have four prosthetic limbs, CNN reported.

Martin Kaufmann, Founder of OrthoPets, which supplied the artificial limbs said: "Brutus is an amazing case of a beautiful dog who was dealt a short hand.

"He can get out and do normal doggy things. And it just makes you feel so good.

"If he ended up in a shelter they'd say he was unadoptable because he's missing his feet. I think it's good for people to know we can work with animals this."The Rottweiler is a medium/large size breed of domestic dog.

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