Kuno (UK Ministry of Defense) His OrthoPets Devices
You may recently have seen an article or two about Kuno, a 3 year old Belgian Malinois military working dog from the UK, who will be receiving the PDSA Dickin Medal for his service during a night raid in Afghanistan. During the raid, Kuno charged in, tackled the enemy gunman, and changed the course of events for his team, likely saving all of their lives. Unfortunately during his charge, he was shot in both hind legs, requiring life-saving care, and eventually requiring the amputation of his left hind paw due to infection. He also had serious instability and damage to his remaining full right hind leg from his wounds.
OrthoPets became involved once Kuno returned home and his handlers were looking for solutions to let Kuno be fully mobile again as he worked on his extensive rehabilitation program, just like a wounded human would. The decision was made to first put his newly healed partial hind limb into a custom prosthesis to let him bear weight more evenly and hopefully take some of the pressure off the remaining full limb. His prosthesis is a standard below tarsus (ankle) prosthesis, featuring an extension to make up the missing height, a clamshell fastening to keep it in place, a soft removable liner for a snug and close fit, and rugged bike tread to let Kuno return to an active lifestyle.
After two months getting some miles on the prosthesis and getting increasingly comfortable with it, Kuno's handlers then opted to pursue a custom tarsal brace for his unstable right hind, which had sciatic nerve damage due to his previous injuries and a nearly plantigrade stance from compensating. Until then he had been wearing a hard cast to support the right hind, so we built a non-articulated tarsus, articulated paw segment device to strongly support that unstable ankle while still allowing for as functional a gait pattern as possible. As you can see, Kuno has adjusted brilliantly to being the first ever military working dog in the UK to receive custom VOP devices, and is able to enjoy his well-earned retirement with his bionic legs!