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Miniature horse Shine is fitted with a prosthetic hoof at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. (Photo: William A. Cotton/CSU Photograph.)

FORT COLLINS, CO — The James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU gave a 3-year-old miniature horse a new lease on life by using a 3-D printer and prosthetics to replace a missing hoof.

Shine was injured after a vicious dog attack left his left hind leg mangled and infected. Veterinarians at the hospital had to amputate the leg in order for Shine to survive.

According to Colorado State University, owners Jacque Corsentino and Lee Vigil told veterinarians to “do whatever it takes” to give the horse another chance at a normal life.

And thanks to Shine’s size — he’s 30 inches tall and 150 pounds — he was a good candidate for a prosthetic hoof.

It’s an uncommon approach, said Laurie Goodrich, associate professor of equine orthopedics at CSU.

Goodrich used measurements, Shine’s radiographs and a 3-D printer to build a replica of the horse’s hoof to help him stay balanced while he healed.

“It’s the first one I’ve done, but I’ve always wanted to try,” she said. “We had no way of preserving that limb … this was the only option to preserve his life.”

Shine was fitted with an artificial hoof from OrthoPets and now he is adjusting confidently to trotting. He is preparing to leave the teaching hospital and return home to his ranch in Florence, Colorado, later this week.

“He is so comforting. You know when you have horrible days? Shine is my therapy,” Corsentino said. “I think he would make an amazing therapy horse for wounded warriors or kids with disabilities.”

Colorado State University contributed to this report.

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This story about CSU/OrthoPets patient Shine first appeared at LIKE Human: http://usat.ly/1Swkw6g