A puppy that was viciously attacked in a dog fight is given the world’s first 3D-printed mask to help save her life

A team of biomedical engineering students and veterinary surgeons at UC Davis collaborated to create a 3D printed mask that served as a cast for a dog’s fractured skull.

The recipient of this innovative treatment was a four-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy who had suffered a broken cheekbone, fractured jawbone, and dislocated mandibular joint. Additionally, the puppy had multiple puncture wounds on her face and neck, necessitating a complex surgery. Fortunately, the skilled veterinary surgeons successfully completed the procedure.

Following the surgery, the puppy, named Loca, was fitted with a specially designed 3D-printed mask known as the Exo-K9 Exoskeleton. This mask provided stability to her jawbone, allowing for proper healing. During her three-day hospitalization, Loca demonstrated excellent progress. She began consuming soft food and remained comfortable with the aid of pain medication. In addition to the Exo-K9, Loca wore a padded neck bandage to stabilize her neck fracture and restrict her range of motion during the healing process.

While wearing the mask, Loca had limitations on her activities. She was unable to engage in her typical behaviors such as chewing on toys or bones. Eating and drinking also proved challenging, and she relied on a pap diet until her injuries fully healed.

We extend our best wishes to Loca, hoping for her speedy recovery and a return to her normal life in the near future.

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