Antoine Maître is not an orthoprosthetist like the others. His patients sport a body covered with hair and stand on 4 legs. Determined to improve the quality of life of injured or disabled animals, he decided to make them personalized prostheses. A little dog named Sansa particularly benefited from his expertise.
The device no longer holds any secrets for Antoine Maître. With 10 years of experience in paediatrics, this trained orthoprosthetist has invested in the animal cause by creating Orthopia, an orthopedic practice dedicated to our furry friends.
Splints, orthoses, prostheses, ortho-prostheses… the specialist designs various devices according to the profile and pathology of his patient. A meticulous work, which he carries out in agreement with the family and the veterinarian.
“I use the same materials and the same processes as my colleagues who work for humans, but our devices are not subject to the same things… For example, they don’t have patients who chew their accessory. With me, it can happen!” he confided not without a smile to the editorial team of Woopets.
Among his first striking interventions, our interlocutor wanted to tell us the story of Sansa, a female Jack Russell Terrier who has come a long way. Victim of an accident with a truck at the age of 4 months, the canine “miraculously” escaped with brachial plexus palsy.
“The nerves are going to be responsible for the motor skills and the sensitivity of his front paw. As a result of the shock, Sansa lost the use of her limb, Antoine said, on the one hand she can no longer use it to walk, on the other hand she can hurt herself without realizing it.”
Most dogs love to exercise, play, and run wildly. Activities that had become chimerical for Sansa, whose curved paw constantly rubbed the ground.
The pretty hazel-eyed lady saw a plessum appear on her youthful body. “From the moment a joint is not used or always remains in the same position, it stiffens and we observe a decrease in flexibility,” explained the animal orthoprosthetist.
After being contacted by the dog’s owners, Antoine got down to work. Once the design was validated by Sansa’s veterinarian, the specialist made a cast of the paw and tweaked thermoplastics to create the ideal device for his patient. A thin layer of orthopedic foam has also been slipped inside, with the aim of securing the limb and “giving the animal a second skin”.
About 20 hours of labor were needed to contemplate the result. A corrective and functional splint, it serves 3 main purposes: “To protect Sansa’s paw from injury; tighten it so that it has a correct support; work on the flexum of the carpus to avoid further stiffness and gain extension.”
Mission accomplished! “When I put her splint, Sansa immediately ran, said our interlocutor, her owner told me that she was reviving. Little Jack Russell, bursting with energy, was looking forward to this moment.
Sansa has literally recovered, a year after the accident with the heavyweight. Running or having fun without having to fear injury, infection or any other complication is now possible. A second wind for the young dog, who can act like her fellow dogs!
“Overall, we won”, rejoiced the orthoprosthetist, ready to improve the daily lives of many other animals in need. They too have the right to flourish and fully enjoy a normal life, despite their disability.